Locals among Byway drawing winners

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Anita Leach, of Mill City, won a $600-plus shopping spree in a drawing at Hoy’s Hardware by the Over the Rivers and Through the Woods State Scenic Byway Marketing and Fund-Raising Committee.

The committee drew 10 names for $1,700 in gift certificates from byway businesses, which stretches through Brownsville and Sweet Home.

Other winners were Bob Church, John Hefty, Juanita Sieg and Joanne West, all of Sweet Home, Connie McManus of Brownsville and the Brownsville Senior Center, which won three certificates after individuals turned in tickets with the center’s name on them, said Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce Manager Carla Claasen, who helped organize the drawing.

“The money raised from the sale of tickets will provide funding to market the byway,” said West, who serves on the byway Steering Committee — not the Marketing Committee, which conducted the contest. “The committee would like to thank all the byway businesses who provided gift certificates.”

Designation for the byway was approved in January 2004. The approval came three years after the idea was proposed for the Sweet Home and Brownsville communities.

The 66-mile byway begins at Interstate Five following Highway 228 to Sweet Home and then following Highway 20 to its junction with Highway 126.

“Our byway provides a means to recognize the unique features of our area while providing travelers with an east-west scenic route to already existing McKenzie-Santiam Pass and West Cascades national scenic byways,” West said. “When fully implemented, we should see increased revenue to businesses along the byway benefiting the economies of our communities.

“The byway committee has been working hard to make our byway route a tourism draw. State and federal grant funding have been received for implementing the byway Management and Interpretive Plan. In addition, the Oregon State Tourism Commission markets our byway and therefore our communities nationwide.”

In the spring, the byway Steering Committee will construct kiosks in Brownsville and Sweet Home. The committee recently received a grant from Oregon Tourism to help with construction and for interpretive panels to be placed on the kiosks. Panels are in the process of being designed.

Byway management consists of a Steering Committee and four subcommittees, including Marketing and Fund-Raising, Grant Writing, Education and Interpretation and Infrastructure. During the spring, the Steering Committee will take each subcommittee’s action plan and create a master plan for the byway.

For further information or to join the committees, contact West at 367-9206.