California Area Chamber of Commerce approves 2014 Ozark Ham and Turkey Festival

— By PAULA EARLS

California Democrat Staff

During the December board meeting the California Area Chamber of Commerce voted to have the 2014 Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival. The festival was discussed at length. Melissa Bonecutter presented a proposed budget which will be considered by the festival committee. There was much discussion about making changes for 2014. The following items were discussed, getting more festival vendors, the car show, which has a potential new chair-person, the tuff truck/figure 8 competition might be moved from the chamber to another local organization, different advertising, etc. The festival committee will begin meeting in early March according to Brad Baer, chairman for the festival.

The minutes from the November board meeting and the treasurer's report were reviewed and approved.

Diane Eulinger, executive secretary, distributed a written report.

The following slate of directors, serving three-year terms, will be proposed to the membership for approval at the annual dinner, Jan. 25. Tammy Bleich, USDA Farm Service Agency; Rita Hammerly, Burgers’ Smokehouse; Paula Earls, California Democrat; Jason Witt, Cargill; Norris Gerhart, Mr. G’s; Shelly Hampton, Peoples Bank; Doris Hardy, California Nutrition Center; Amanda Trimble, Bond Pharmacy; Brian Hufendick, Windmill Ridge Funeral Services; Bonnie George, Commerce Bank; Roberta Rothstein, independent; Tom Winters, independent; Jenny Brown, Central Bank (finishes one year term).

Also proposed were the following officers, serving one year terms, president - Becky Lawson, Hawthorn Bank; vice president – Jason Witt, Cargill; secretary – Shelly Hampton, Peoples Bank; and treasurer – Melissa Bonecutter, Bonecutter Body Shop.

The proposed 2014 budget was prepared for approval of the membership at the annual dinner.

The board approved the purchase of a new laser printer for the chamber office from the Ozark Ham & Turkey budget.

In committee reports Amanda Trimble, reported there was a good turnout for the parade for Christmas California Style. Parade winners were first place - Main Street Baptist Church, second place - Ace Realty & Peoples Bank featuring Sounds of Joy, and third place went to Nic Nac Café/California Home Furnishing. Due to the extremely cold weather the parade had less entries, but many turned out to watch.

Commerce Bank hosted Santa and Mrs. Claus and there were several children in line for a visit. Sounds of Joy sang for the children and families while they were waiting to visit Santa.

Robin Ratcliff reported that judging was underway for the house/business decorating contest. Winners will be announced Saturday, Dec. 14.

Dolores Burger presented a worksheet outlining what needed to be done for the annual dinner. The dinner will be held at the California Nutrition Center Jan. 25. The California Eagles Aerie #4027 will be providing the meal and appetizers. Cost for tickets will be $15 per person. The board decided to do the silent auction only. Proceeds from the auction are used to help fund the scholarships. Gerhart will chair the auction. The rural fire fighters of California will be the honored guests at the dinner.

Winters presented the board with rough estimates on cost to construct the sign at the Highway 50/Highway 87 intersection. Preliminary estimates are between $40,000 and $45,000 and does not include the brick or foundation. Winters and his committee will bring more definite numbers to the January board meeting.

During closed session the board approved a bonus, to be paid for out of Ozark Ham & Turkey funds, for the executive secretary.

The California Area Chamber of Commerce board's next meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 9, at 8 a.m., in the City Hall meeting room.

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