By Gary Perkins, Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce
The chamber held two very special and productive meetings this week. First was our Monthly Board of Directors Meeting, held Tuesday, with the following board members in attendance: David Perry, Justin Calvert, Al Stevens, Cheryl Hill, Tonia Cooper, Lisa Clayton, Kathy Carson, Kathy Perkins, and myself.
At this monthly meeting we reviewed the financial status of the chamber, and all expense and income categories for this fiscal year-to-date.
The chamber continues to be in strong financial shape and all expenses are in line with projected budgets and last year's results.
After careful review, David Perry made the motion to accept them as presented and Tonia Cooper seconded the motion. A positive vote followed.
We also covered early planning projections for the May 18 Annual Golf Tournament scheduled to be held at Pecan Valley Golf Course.
Several teams have already committed to participate in this four-man scramble.
We also recapped plans for this year's Car Show, scheduled for June 14-15.
Early sponsorships have continued to come in for this event, with donations or commitments coming from Perry Financial Services, Edward Jones Investments, Charlie's Chicken, Service Masters Elite, Tahlequah City Hospital, Century 21-Clinkenbeard Agency, Herringshaw Waste Management, OG&E, Pecan Valley Golf Course, and Lake Country Chevrolet-Cadillac.
This past week posters and flyers were also distributed to all auto parts shops and car dealerships in the area.
We also have begun to distribute our very colorful posters around town. Keep an eye out for them.
SonBurst Graphics came up with a great design for this year's poster. In addition, trophies have been ordered and everything else is falling into place to make this year's event one of the biggest and best yet.
Vendors and entries are already coming in. We also discussed plans for our 10K/5K run in August, some issues regarding our web site, and the request for a cost proposal to get an awning for the outside of our chamber building.
This well be coming from Tulsa Awning, and I have had conversations with Joe Roark from the Town of Fort Gibson to make sure we are in compliance with all town codes in its design.
In all, a very productive meeting with a lot of good input from all those in attendance.
Our second very productive meeting was a special committee that has been formed to determine the practicality of staging a 10K run through our town streets, and a possible course to accomplish that.
In attendance at that meeting, held Friday, was Police Chief Clint Vernon, Fire Chief Larry Dale Cooper, Derald Glover, Greg Phares, Jason Shelor, Cheryl Hill, and myself.
After much discussion, it was determined that a course could be designed that would take runners from the school area, toward Poplar Street, across to Cemetery Road, past the National Cemetery, out toward and alongside the Historic Site, down Lee Street and back to the school.
Two loops would have to be determined — one for the 10K, and one for a shorter 5K run.
Both would have to be "track certified" and then the job of preparing the logistics of notifying all residents and businesses involved in the course, and the implementing of all the manpower necessary to make sure the course is safe for all runners.
With the involvement of Cherokee Nation and their Wings organization, it is expected that upward of 1,500 runners would participate in the run itself.
A one-mile up-and-back course would also be determined. This huge event is scheduled for Aug. 24, with an early start time of 7:30 a.m.
While it presents some challenges, everyone agreed that it would be a great new event for the town, bringing several thousand visitors to our town, and highlighting our most prized possessions — Fort Gibson Schools, the National Cemetery, the Historic Site, old downtown Fort Gibson, and several of our great neighborhoods.
The chamber, along with the help of the Town of Fort Gibson, school administrators and staff, Cherokee Nation, Muskogee Run Club, and hundreds of volunteers, looks forward to this becoming one of the premier events for the town.
School Superintendent Derald Glover also thought that we would be able to count on a large contingent of students to help out with the course safety concerns.
You will be hearing much more about this undertaking, as the exact course is finalized, and door-to-door notification begins.
We also want everyone to be aware of the ribbon-cutting at the new location of A Flower Can, 1207 S. Lee St., scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. Owner Klynna Nail would like everyone to come out and support their "Grand Re-Opening" at the new location, and check out their assortment of fresh flowers, arrangements, gifts, and party items. Come join the chamber and welcome Klynna at her new location here in Fort Gibson.
Finally, a reminder that our Weekly Chamber Luncheon for the month of April is being held at Boomarang Dine at 11:30 a.m. each Thursday.
Those in attendance recently have included David Perry Rhonda Lee, Tonia Cooper, Denise Bain, Justin Young, Mark Young, Lisa Clayton, Kathy Perkins, Cheryl Hill, and myself. Come out and join us for this always fun get-together.
For the month of May we will be going to the new Fajita Rita's location out off U.S. 62 and Scott Street, near Precision Eye Care.
It will be exciting to see their new building and share in their upcoming grand re-opening.