MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

September 24, 2013

Barbecue money puts temporary dip in account

By Gary Perkins
Chamber Notes

— The Chamber held its monthly board of directors meeting this past Tuesday. In attendance were board members Mark Young, Justin Young, Tonia Cooper, Cheryl Hill, Lisa Clayton; and associate board members, Denise Bain and Kathy Perkins, along with myself, Gary Perkins, Chamber director. As is the custom, the financial status of the Chamber was the first order of business. For the first time in several years, the Chamber’s bank account contains less this year than this time last year.  This is due to several factors, including a cut in funding from one of our primary sources, and the fact that proceeds from our recent annual run have not yet been received. The Chamber’s current account shows $6,083, as compared to $10,178 at this time last year. Included in this year’s amount is $3,500 that has been set aside from last year’s barbecue event, for future spending based on board and barbecue committee voting. Several outstanding bills are pending, awaiting the arrival of the mentioned proceeds from our recent run. Once received, the Chamber’s account will be back to what is considered normal for routine monthly obligations and projected plans. Another factor for lower funds at this time of the year has to do with the delay of Chamber renewals that took place last year when the fiscal year was changed from October through September to January through December as it currently is. Mailings for the 2014 calendar year will go out in late December and early January. All other expenses and projected income factors were in line with budget. Mark Young made the motion to accept the financial records, as presented, and Justin Young seconded the motion. A positive vote was unanimous.

Referring to the recent annual run, with the increase of runners, total income was $14,260, which included $1,100 in donated sponsorships, while expenses totaled $10,669, leaving a net income of $3,673. This compares to approximately $1,500 in net income when we had the previous 5K only run west on Poplar, toward the casino, and back. Response to our new format, including a 10K run and a changed course through town, has been received very positively. Several factors were discussed to improve the annual event and logistics in future runs. The support of the Cherokee Nation Wings program, is much appreciated and the main factor in making this such a positive event.

The upcoming “Smokin’ the Fort BBQ & Bluegrass Festival,” scheduled for Oct. 25 and 26, was also discussed. A report was given the board from the last BBQ Committee meeting, bringing them up to date on any changes and planned events. The timeline and changes were discussed in the last chamber notes. I would also mention that most of the board also serves on the BBQ Committee. We also recapped the Starlight Christmas Parade, scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 2 in downtown Fort Gibson. This year’s theme is “A Magical Christmas.” Also discussed was the design of this year’s Fort Gibson Christmas ornament, due to be out later in October. Watch for it. You won’t be disappointed. With no new additional business, the meeting was adjourned.

One final note regarding our weekly Chamber luncheons held each Thursday, at 11:30 a.m. For the month of September, we have been at the Subway on South Lee Street and will be there for the final Thursday this month. Come join us for this very casual and informal get-together, open to everyone. For the month of October, we will move to Fajita Rita’s. Also, on Thursdays, we have been holding our weekly Fort Gibson Farmers’ Market.

We will officially close it down for the season at the end of September; however, those of you who have lingering fruits and vegetables and perhaps holiday crafts and goodies, you may continue to use Langston Park on Thursdays through Oct. 24. As always, there is no vendor or booth fee.