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The Bedford County Chamber of Commerce will offer a new networking opportunity for the business community of the Bedford County region beginning this week.

Networking Walks are being planned for Thursdays at noon.

“With the ongoing gathering restrictions due to COVID-19, we still don’t know when we’ll be able to resume our traditional Business After Hours mixers,” said Chamber President- CEO Kellie Goodman Shaffer. “This is a safe, socially-distant way to provide ways for people to make connections with one another. Our goal is to promote fellowship, fitness and fun.”

The “net-walking” program will be offered weekly throughout March. Registrants will meet at noon at the Bedford Elks Country Club pavilion. The group will walk along the Shuster Way Heritage Trail to the Craig Ashe Bridge and back, where to-go lunches will be waiting. March lunches will be provided by Wholesome Living Marketplace, and guests will choose from three menu options when they register. Cost is $10 per person for Chamber members and $15 per person for not-yet members of the Chamber.

In the event of poor weather, walkers will meet at ProCare Fitness Bedford to utilize the indoor track.

“Overall, it’s a great idea,” said ProCare owner Blair Leydig, a partner in the walking program. “We have been missing that community feel, and this will be nice because we can be outside. And the health aspect is a big part of it too. A healthy immune system is important, and fresh air, sunshine and a little bit of exercise is all good.”

“We are excited to kick this program off on March 4th,” added Shaffer. “That date is a great time to ‘march forth’ into a new season and set a new goal.”

The Chamber will consider extending the Thursday lunchtime Networking Walks if there seems to be interest in the program, and other venues and walking routes will be considered, along with additional ways to include more business partners.

Sponsorships are available for businesses who may wish to “host” a walk. Contact the Chamber to discuss opportunities. Those wishing to register may do so online through the Chamber website or call 623-2233 to register by phone. Learn more by visiting BedfordCountyChamber.com.

Contact Paul Rowan at prowan@bedfordgazette.com, 623-1151, ext. 140.

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