The Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation held its monthly mixer at the Blue Mountain Butterfly Sanctuar in Penn Forest Township.

Mari Grouber, sanctuary owner who hosted the mixer, told the attendees, "We are hands on, nature based education center. We are committed to connecting people to nature, one butterfly at a time."

"I want to teach children to not be afraid of nature. I would like to teach them to play outdoors," said Grouber.

Visitors to the butterfly sanctuary are given the opportunity to walk amongst the butterflies and to learn about them as well as a number of other species of frogs and spiders found in the rain forests.

The Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary is open 7 days a week, now through Labor Day and is located at 18 Church Street in Jim Thorpe. After Labor Day the sanctuary closes to release the migrating monarch butterflies.

Dawn Ferrante, executive director of the CCEDC, gave a summary of the organization.

She said on April 1, the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce merged with the counties Economic Development Corporation to form the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.

"It's our job to help Carbon County businesses to grow and thrive," said Ferrante. "It's a 'one stop shop' for businesses."

"We believe very strongly in our strength in numbers campaign. When people and companies come together they are stronger, when they work together everybody is going to grow and prosper," she added.

In keeping the same goal in mind, this past Monday the CCDEC voted to partner with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Lehigh Valley Chamber covers four major cities, and has seven affiliated chambers and 20 regional partners, including the CCDEC, according to Marlyn Kissner of the Lehigh Valley Chamber.

"By working together we are able to help promote and market different events throughout the region. We use our website, blast emails and newsletters. An event like this one tonight gets out to all the areas we cover," explained Kissner.