Chamber of Commerce evaluates festival

— The California Area Chamber of Commerce Board met Thursday, Nov. 14.

Amanda Trimble, coordinator for Christmas California Style parade indicated the parade will be Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. Line up will start at 4 p.m. at the swimming pool.

Tree lighting and parade awards will be given at the Court House after the parade.

Hampton has talked with Santa and Mrs. Claus and they will be at Commerce Bank after the parade giving out treats to all the children.

Pictures with Santa will not be available this year unless a group or organization would like to do so. Contact the Chamber office if you are interested.

Sounds of Joy will perform inside of Commerce Bank under the direction of Michele Bilyeu.

Robin Ratcliff is coordinating the house decorating contest. New this year will be a business decorating contest. Watch the California Democrat for times and dates. You can call the Chamber office and be placed on a list to be certain your house/business is judged.

In other business the minutes and treasurers report from the October board meeting was reviewed and approved.

It was noted Chamber dues notices will be mailed out in the next two weeks. Dues will remain the same.

Secretary's report was written and distributed by Diane Eulinger.

In old business the members formed a committee of Brad Baer, Shelly Hampton and Brian Hufendiek to work with the California Democrat on business spotlights for 2014.

In February the Moniteau Christian Ministry (MCMC) asked the board for support of completing Phase II of its building project. The board tabled the request until after the Ozark Ham and Turkey Festival. The consensus of the board was this is a worthy effort but the board was not in a position to add any additional support.

In new business the board received a letter from Co-Mo Comm offering the opportunity to sign up for internet, phone and television service at an installation fee of $100. The deadline for this opportunity is Dec. 2. The board voted to approve the fee with one abstention vote.

Becky Lawson submitted a request from the deployment chairman of the 135th Missouri National Guard at Whiteman Air Force Base to help in sending Christmas boxes to some of the soldiers deployed to Afghanistan. Items suggested include summer sausage, beef jerky, tuna snack packs, shampoo, hand lotion, handy wipes, body lotion, deodorant, after shave lotion, cookies, crackers, granola bars, hard candy, jams, jellies, nuts, coffee/filters, powered creamers, drink mix packages, etc. Anyone wishing to donate can take items to Hawthorn Bank until Dec.1. The goal is to fill at least two boxes.

In committe reports Baer said the Ozark Ham and Turkey festival follow-up meeting held Oct. 21 went well. The festival made in excess of $5,000. The big question was should the festival continue? Some of the workers start at 5:30 a.m. and finish after 11 p.m. There was much discussion on what does the festival do for California and should it be continued. The board felt the festival should continue with some modifications. An emphasis will be placed on recruiting more craft vendors, possibly changing the car show to a display only event, giving the Tuff Truck/Figure 8 event to another organization to run, asking for less sponsorships and getting more hands-on help from area businesses.

The chambers main goal is to attract people to California and support all businesses as much as possible. Baer agreed to remain as chair of the committee and work at making these adjustments. Save the date cards have been distributed at other local festivals for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Anyone wishing to help with the festival should contact the Chamber office or Baer directly.

Plans are being made to hold the annual dinner at the California Nutrition Center Saturday, Jan. 25. Discussions involved donations and the length of the evening. More discussion will be held on how to honor the Business and Citizen of the Year and raise funds for the scholarship.

Tom Winters shared information from the sign meeting held Nov. 12. Winters showed a rough draft sketch of what the sign might look like, size, lighting, placement, etc. The committee is recommending there be only one sign that can be seen from the north and south of Highway 50. The board gave Winters and his committee the go ahead to seek cost estimates and report at the next board meeting.

Also on this committee are Todd McCluskey, Dwight Sanders and Baer.

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