Tonasket Chamber reminds members to renew

TONASKET – The Tonasket Chamber of Commerce membership renewals are lagging, and the organization is hoping to encourage last year’s members to re-up for 2012.

As of the Tuesday, April 10, chamber board meeting, only 54 of last year’s 82 members have paid this year’s dues.

“If you can give me a phone number list,” said Chamber President Dale Crandall,” I can give them a call (as a reminder).”

On a brighter note, treasurer Bill Nelson reported that the chamber was approved in its bid to receive Tourism Advisory Board funds this fall. Nelson said that the Chamber had $11,691 in the bank with all bills paid.

Patti Middleton, speaking for a group of people looking for ways to “spiff up” downtown, was on hand to see if there were others that were interested in getting together to share ideas.

“If anyone would like to meet and add or delete from our observations, we’re looking for that sort of interest,” Middleton said. “The sky’s the limit. If anyone wants to try and get something going, we’d like to get something done before the Tonasket parade (in early June).”

Middleton encouraged others of a similar mind to contact her at patti@buenavistaquilting.com or (509) 486-2341.

Loreen “Recycling Chick” Felstet was on hand to promote a number of area events, including the Fifth Annual Earth Day Alternative Faire at the CCC, April 21-22 (including an e-waste drop-off the second day); Recycled Art Month at the CCC, all of April; the Fourth Annual Green Fest at Wenatchee Valley CC-Omak during the day and the Omak Civic League Park in the evening and the Third Annual Conscious Culture Music Festival, June 8-9 at the Okanogan Family Faire grounds.

Felstet also said that due to funding issues, a hoped-for metal drive is on hold when hoped-for grant money didn’t come through.

“When Methow Valley did theirs, there was $10,000 in expenses to get started, but they made over $50,000,” Felstet said. “This was supposed to be the seed money to get the recycling center built, so maybe we won’t be going that route.

“I don’t know that it’s squelched; we’re still looking for about five acres as the original location, the owner decided to plant there. Part of the expense is a fence, but really the main part is the assurance and structure needed to do the processing.”

Julie Alley said that after seeing ads recruiting volunteers for the Can-Am races, which are in July, it would be prudent for the Chamber to be doing the same for the Founders Day Parade, which is June 2.

“That’s one thing we really don’t do until later that maybe we should do,” Alley said. “Just saying, ‘Hey, we need some help now, and make sure you set the date for that.’ Even if people don’t come to the meetings, they can still volunteer.”

Also discussed was the need for a public address system. In the past, a PA has been borrowed from the Oroville Chamber for events such as Founders Day and Winterfest.

“Some of the fundraisers we’ve done we’ve earmarked for that,” Alley said. “Since we have a little money put aside… when we first started looking at it, probably $700-800. It’s something other groups could use. Several groups here borrow from the chamber in Oroville.”

“It would be nice to have,” Crandall said, adding that a survey of eBay showed that good systems were available at a relatively low cost. “Let’s look around and see what we can find.”

The chamber had also looked into bidding for a portable kiosk to house the new computer at the TVBRC. Crandall said that Quill and Barley Hyde had bid about $1,000 for a custom-built kiosk that would match the table they build for the TVBRC last year. However, the expense was more than the chamber had planned to spend, and other options, including the possibility of a donated used furniture, were going to be explored before making a final decision.

Finally, the chamber’s Vonage phone has been installed at the TVBRC. Its number is (509) 486-7155.

The Tonasket Chamber of Commerce will next meet Tuesday, April 24, at noon at Rancho Chico.

About Brent Baker

Brent is a reporter for the Gazette-Tribune. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent started work at the G-T in 2011.

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