Tonasket chamber stays in black for 2011

TONASKET – The Tonasket Chamber of Commerce presented its 2011 profit and loss statement at its first 2012 meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10, as well as electing its new officers and board members and announcing dates for a number of annual events.

Treasurer Bill Nelson’s report showed that the chamber stayed in the black for the year, bringing in a net income of $2,118.27. Expenses totaled $20,635.03 and total income came in at $22,813.89. The report highlighted the importance of the RV park to the chamber’s income, as it netted about $6,260 profit, grossing more than all other income combined. Membership dues ($4,795) and income from the banquet auction ($3,319) were the other two primary sources of income.

The Tonasket Visitor and Business Resource Center (TVBRC) reported that it hosted 1,149 visitors in 2011, held four art shows, had 131 visitors at its open house, 562 visitors for its Halloween haunted house and hosted cyclist/campers for 26 nights in its camping area last summer. Linda Black, who coordinated a team of more than two dozen volunteers, received a proclamation from the Tonasket City Council in December for her efforts.

This year’s annual fundraiser banquet, scheduled for today (Jan. 19), was set to include more than 25 donations for auction items, with Jerry Asmussen acting as the auctioneer and Mayor Patrick Plumb as the master of ceremonies. The band Hippies on Vacation will be performing and Lola Orr providing the catering.

Major upcoming events include the Kiwanis Groundhog Day dinner on Saturday, Feb. 4, Tonasket Founders Day on Saturday, June 2, and the Okanogan Family Faire (formerly the Barter Faire) either the first or second weekend of October.

Dave and Peg Swanberg of the Okanogan Valley chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen were present to encourage the public to attend their Cabin Fever Night Out presentation at the Community Cultural Center on Friday, Jan. 27. The presentation will include a three-part program featuring cowboy stories and Powerpoint slides of the backcountry. It will be preceded by a dessert auction fundraiser and dinner, with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. The statewide Backcountry Horsemen are also selling a raffle calendar for $20 as a fundraiser. A drawing will take place at Lee Frank Mercantile on the last day of each month for a $300 prize, with a grand prize in December of $3,000.

In addition, the North Valley Hospital foundation will be holding a fundraiser with a silent auction and dinner on Feb. 25.

Peter James of Green Okanogan announced that there will be a metal drive this spring, likely for a full month, although details were still being ironed out. James added that he is working on building a drive-through recycling site on Western Avenue and is seeking community stakeholders.

Also, Scotty Kimball shared that he is starting the groundwork to partner with the school to plant a school garden and had been in contact with fourth grade teacher/city council member Scott Olson in regards to the project.

Finally, president Dale Crandall agreed to write a letter to the guests at the RV park who have stayed on-site longer than the 30-day city ordinance allows. He also unveiled the chamber’s new computer, which will be available for public use at the TVBRC for information on local attractions. The computer is also Skype-capable and could be used for videoconferencing as well.

The group also elected new officers and board members.

Newly serving as officers will be Julie Alley as vice president and Aaron Kester as secretary. Dale Crandall will continue as president and Bill Nelson continues as treasurer.

Patrick Plumb and Terri Orford will be serving on the board of directors, joining Kay Behymer and Robert Nau.

All nominations were approved unanimously.

The Chamber’s next meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 24, at noon at Whistler’s Family Restaurant in Tonasket.

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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