By Jessica L. Mullins/Around&About editor

When football season for the Colonels begins, another season of festivities, such as tailgating also starts. Tailgaters show up in all different ages with different food and activities, but all have one common theme of supporting the maroon. This Saturday, one group of Richmond individuals will be in the midst of the tailgating, not only to support the Colonels but to meet new people and build new relationships.

The Richmond Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a ‘Netgating’ event, open to all of their 739 Chamber businesses and individual members. Throughout the year, the Chamber hosts a variety of events for its members and in the past, they have always had a chamber night for football and basketball. However, according to Ali Crain, assistant executive director of the Chamber, ‘Netgating,’ which is short for networking and tailgating, will be the first event of this kind for the Chamber. It is an event really focused on chamber members interacting and networking with one another.

“We feel that it’s a treat for members to do ‘outside of business,’ family-related activities (such as the ‘Netgating’ event),” Crain said. “It exposes them to different people that they may not see during regular business hours.”

Pat MacSwords, Chamber of Commerce President, thinks that such events as ‘Netgating’ are very important to the chamber, their families and Richmond as a whole.

“These events help us build a more solid sense of community,” MacSwords said, via email. “When people have the opportunity to bring their families together for a fun social event, it helps to build stronger personal relationships which, in turn, positively affects our ability to work well with each other in the business environment.”

The ‘Netgating’ event will offer not only a lot of fun and interaction, but some competition as well. Chamber members and their families will compete to win prizes for best overall tailgate, best food, best spirit and best theme.

It is befitting that the Chamber hosts such a networking event at Eastern, since “the chamber and the university have a great working relationship,” MacSwords said. “The two organizations collaborate on several projects and programs throughout the year.”

‘Netgating’ will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Alumni Coliseum parking lot. Chamber members are encouraged to bring their best food and decorations, and support the Chamber and the Colonels.