During this chamber year, we at the Denton Chamber of Commerce have collected in excess of $100,000 for events that support specific program initiatives. This is over and above annual membership investment pledges that fund day-to-day general operations.
Membership and event sponsorships are discretionary; neither is required. There are no penalties for not being a member of the chamber, and we can't place liens or repossess property for nonpayment of voluntary pledges.
The chamber's primary commitment is to promote and advocate the local business community as a whole. The "rising tide lifts all ships" aphorism, although simplistic, is ultimately what we're about.
Most of our events and projects are not designed to be fundraisers. While a prosperous and expanding economy is conducive to the success of our local businesses, I think it is important to understand that of the $100,000 in sponsorship and advertising money we've raised this year, we passed along over 10 percent to other local nonprofits.
We helped fund the Mayor's Summer Youth Jobs Program and Grants-to-Teachers through the Denton Public School Foundation.
The financial source for the youth jobs program is the third annual Denton Means Business 5K & Fun Run. The event is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, April 7 at Apogee Stadium.
Medals will be awarded to the top three men and women, both individually and by age group. The event is being coordinated by Sara Schroeder in cooperation with the University of North Texas athletic department. Visit www.denton5k.com to register.
We have added a fundraising component to our annual membership banquet, scheduled for Thursday, March 22 at the UNT Gateway Center. We've added silent and live auctions to help raise funds for some desperately needed maintenance projects on the chamber building.
Chamber officers Carrell Ann Simmons and Rick Wick are in the process of securing an Argentina dove hunt, professional sports gear, music celebrity items, California wine country and Colorado ski trips as well as several unique gift baskets.
The annual membership banquet serves as the symbolic passing of the gavel, and the transition from Jim Fykes to Erik Clark as chairman of the chamber board.
Individual acknowledgements in the form of the Small Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Outstanding LEAD Delegates and Otis L. Fowler Award will be highlights of the evening. Tickets are now available at the Denton chamber office.