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The California Area Chamber of Commerce approved a host of new members to its board of directors during its Oct. 10 meeting.

The chamber voted to approve Elaine Anderson, Jenny Cain, Tyler Clenin, Kayle Kiesling, Chelsea McGill and Stephanie Stokes as new members to the board of directors. The chamber has a minimum number requirement, but no maximum number cap for the board in its bylaws.

In other new business, the chamber reported there will be a ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, for the California Nutrition Center's new office space, to be followed by a Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Chamber event committees gave reports on both successful recent events and preparations for upcoming affairs. The Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival Committee gave a final report, following its last meeting until the first Monday in March 2020. Committee Chairman Brad Baer reported this year's festival was probably more successful than the last few editions, even considering the rainy weather. Sheltered Reality Drumline, which performed at the festival, had an especially successful time, as reported by parent volunteer Kiesling — the group managed to double its number of participants, raise enough money to purchase another new drum set, and drew interest for scheduling three future performances in Kingdom City.

The Christmas California Style Committee gave an update on preparations for Christmas in Proctor Park. The board was presented with a list of guidelines, to be presented to the 33 businesses currently expressing interest in participating, for review. Additionally, the chamber was informed of the theme for this year's Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 7 — "A Disney Christmas."

The chamber approved Makayla Schanzmeyer as the student representative on the board of directors this year and heard from two other California High School students, Allison Bailey and Caden Kirksey, about their respective experiences at the Missouri Boys and Girls State programs last summer.

The chamber also heard from Pam Gilligan and John Morlock, who spoke briefly on behalf of their Heroes Outreach Program, which hosts weekly gatherings for veterans. The program currently hosts "Veterans Coffee Talk" in Cole County each Wednesday, averaging 8-10 participants per week, and plans to begin offering weekly meetings at Grind Gathering Place starting on Veterans Day.

Following up on business from September's meeting, the chamber clarified some donation amounts agreed upon last month. This includes a donation to Moniteau County Toys for Tots, which will match the $1,000 donation the chamber gave to the program last year, and a private donation for fall decorations at the city's welcome sign reported at the last meeting. The chamber was informed that donation fell through, so the chamber would be paying $500 toward the decorations. Clenin was also recognized for donating $216 toward that amount for the display, along with watering the plants and keeping the display in order.

The chamber's next meeting will be at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14.

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