Dowagiac Chamber to release area guide, membership directory magazine

Published 1:23 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023

DOWAGIAC — Eileen Crouse is always striving to put the Dowagiac area on the map.

Her latest project has positioned the community she calls home front and center for all to see.

Crouse – who was the driving force behind the establishment of the city’s first flag – recently completed “Destination Dowagiac and Our Neighboring Sister Lakes,” a comprehensive area guide and member directory for the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce.

The magazine, which features more than 30 pages of information on local history, events, restaurants, shops, attractions and more, will be used to promote the Dowagiac area to visitors as well as provide chamber members with address and contact information for every chamber member.

Printed copies will be distributed Friday, March 17 to chamber members, South Bend, Kalamazoo, South Berrien County as well as Pure Michigan rest stops.

Crouse, the chamber’s membership coordinator, spent approximately six months working on the project with help from chamber and community members.

“It was exciting,” she said. “It was fun and it was a lot. But it was absolutely worth it and I’m grateful.”

According to Crouse, the chamber annually produces an event schedule and a chamber directory. Due to an increase in membership, the chamber has increased its emphasis on finding ways to benefit members. Crouse convinced the Chamber Board to allow her to create a magazine bringing attention to the Dowagiac area as well as chamber members.

“We decided to make it more than a directory,” she said. “We decided there was so much to showcase in the greater Dowagiac and Sister Lakes area that it warranted a full magazine.”

Crouse believes the magazine will be an indispensable tool for chamber members and visitors alike.

“I see it as being what the Yellow Pages used to be,” she said. “People can keep this magazine for a full year and have a reference for things like garage doors, restaurants, recreation and even medical, dental and government information. It’s really a resource, an area guide and a directory of our membership all in one.”

Crouse said the response she has received from community members has been positive.

“It’s been great,” she said. “They really got behind it and supported it through advertising. This is important because It’s meant to serve both the local community and visitors. It’s comprehensive and informative for everyone.”

An avid outdoors enthusiast, Crouse was impressed by how much she learned about the community she calls home while creating the magazine. She also thanked the chamber for allowing her to take on the project as well as everyone who contributed to the magazine.

“Even though I’ve lived in this area for 25 years, I was surprised about how much this area has to offer,” she said. “On a professional level, it is gratifying how excited chamber members were about creating something like this. I knew I could do it and I’m really proud that the chamber board trusted in me and believed in me.

“I love this community and want to do everything I can to help it grow.”