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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Austin HornbostelThe latest mural project sponsored by California Progress, Inc. was beginning to take shape on the side of the old CenturyLink building last week. The completed mural will depict Latham Sanitarium and is in a fitting location, right next to where the old building once stood.

California Progress, Inc. followed the lead of other local entities, such as the California Area Chamber of Commerce, and elected to cancel additional activities typically associated with its annual meeting at Monday's regular CPI board meeting.

CPI typically hosts a fundraiser during the winter months — such as last year's "Wine, Dine and Win" — and had initially planned to host one on New Year's Eve this year in conjunction with its annual meeting. However, the group voted Monday to forgo a fundraiser, given the circumstances surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The group will hold its annual meeting in place of the regular December board meeting on the second Monday of the month, Dec. 7.

In advance of the December meeting date, the group discussed possible additions to the CPI board. The group will also have to decide on its slate of officers before then, as the board's president and vice president positions will be vacated.

Though the annual meeting fundraiser was canceled, CPI does have one upcoming event that has not yet been canceled — the Eitzen Mansion Spooktacular, a fundraiser benefiting Latham Memorial Family Park. The event is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 24, and CPI had sold 82 tickets as of Monday's meeting.

The group elected to continue with the event since the Eitzen Mansion property has ample space for social distancing, whether indoors or outside, in contrast to the annual dinner-type events that are seeing cancellations due to the amount of people that would be in close proximity to one another in an indoor space. As far as other safety preparations for the fundraiser later this month, hand sanitizer and masks will be provided.

Besides the Spooktacular, the board discussed one other upcoming event — the second Christmas in Proctor Park. CPI participated last year, decorating a shelter house, and made plans to do so again for this year's edition.

The group also discussed progress on the park project and the latest mural. The new gazebo is set to be delivered to the property either today or tomorrow, and it will likely be constructed by early November. Work on the mural, commemorating the history of the property on which the new park is being erected, began in earnest in early October. The board estimated Monday it was likely at or around 50 percent completion but wanted to check to make sure.

The board also discussed a donation it received recently, a $4,000 contribution in memory of Dorothy Scheidt. The group decided — as long as another mural project is completed following the current one honoring Latham Sanitarium — the money should be split, with half going toward the park project and half going toward the new mural.

Finally, the group had some loose discussion around the idea of bringing an event in the mold of a "Food Truck Friday" to California sometime in the future.

CPI's next regular board meeting is set for at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Moniteau County Library.

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