Event fundraising

Chamber seeks new leadership for steak-fry event | News

The Choteau Chamber of Commerce is looking for a volunteer to chair the 4th of July steak-fry, a fundraiser for the organization held at the Choteau Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in conjunction with the celebration of the city’s independence day.

At the general meeting of chamber members on March 9 in Masonic Hall, Speaker Steve Dogiakos said members who have served as presidents and women in the past have stepped down and new leadership is needed. .

Dogiakos said a president would not have to be a member of the House, but could be any member of the community who wants to help with the celebration. The Chamber has a President’s Planning Guide for the event that covers budgeting, ordering supplies, recruiting volunteers, set-up and clean-up.

Members of the chamber prepare and serve a meal consisting of fried steak strips or hot dogs, fried potatoes, coleslaw, and lemonade. The meat is threaded onto the tines of forks and held in vats of boiling oil until cooked. Dogiakos said the event typically nets around $1,300 in House profits.

With the July 4 celebration fast approaching, Dogiakos said the chamber council has set April 13 as the deadline for someone to step up and volunteer to be the event’s president. If no one comes forward, he said, the chamber will have to consider canceling the event.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Dogiakos at 406-203-4679 or House Secretary Jenn Asselstine at 406-590-4280.

In other plans for the week of July 4, House members agreed to provide an informal beer garden in Choteau’s municipal park on Saturday, July 2, in conjunction with music provided by the reunion committee of the class of 2002 from Choteau high school. Dani Arps, a member of the Class of 2002, said any proceeds from their reunion event will be donated to the Choteau Lions Club Municipal Park Band Fund.

On Sunday, July 3, Chamber will host its own brew party, featuring beers and other beverages made in Montana, and is also working to book a band for the late afternoon event. After Brewfest, there will be rodeo at the Choteau Rodeo Grounds and the Choteau American Legion Club will host a street dance.

On July 4, the Choteau Chamber will host an Independence Day Parade, organized by Barb Bouma, Phyllis Bechtold and other committee members. The parade committee takes suggestions for a parade theme and a grand parade marshal.

In addition, the Chamber has also begun planning its annual Easter Egg Hunt, which will be held in conjunction with the Choteau Community Fireworks Fundraiser at the Choteau Pavilion on Saturday, April 16.

Chamber Member Tom Frownfelder is the Egg Hunt Chairman this year.

The hunt is open to children 10 and under. There will be signs for different sections of the municipal park demarcated for age groups. The age groups will be widened this year and will concern children: 0 to 2 years old; 2 years; 3 and 4 years old; 5 and 6 years old; 7 to 10 years old.

Each company is asked to donate three dozen plastic eggs (filled with candies or treats) as approximately 2,000 eggs are needed to cover the different hunting areas for the five age groups. Those preparing the eggs are asked to tape them shut so that they do not break open when thrown for the hunt.

If companies place coins in plastic eggs as a special bonus for discoverers, they should label those egg bags separately so they are placed in areas where older children will hunt for eggs. These eggs will not be distributed to toddlers and small children who may choke on a coin.

Recycled plastic eggs are available at the Choteau municipal office and at the opportunity bank.

Businesses can drop off their eggs at the city office, Main Street Express, 2 Bucks Inc., Flying Bison Mercantile or the Choteau Acantha before 5 p.m. on April 15. Any business or organization whose eggs have not been deposited by this time must bring them. at the park before 10 a.m. on April 16 and drop them off at the north entrance of the pavilion.

As in recent years, Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home is offering five prize bikes, one in each Egg Hunt age group. Children will find the winning ticket in special eggs in the park. They can exchange the tickets for the bikes at the north entrance gate of the pavilion after the egg hunt is over.

The hunt will take place at 1 p.m. whatever the weather.

Chamber members Kate Lohman and Cody Marney with The Edge Salon are planning the fireworks fundraiser at the Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Choteau Soroptimists having a bake sale; the Lions Club offering carnival games for children; and Chamber members donating items for the silent auction.

Lohman and Marney welcome volunteers to help with this project and anyone interested can join them at the Salon.

Dogiakos said the Chamber has reached its membership target of 85 members in 2022 and said the group still collects dues from a few other businesses, organizations and individuals.

The chamber council, he said, amended the budget to create a line item for the chilli dinner held last month and to create a replacement fund for the snowflake light decorations. The snowflakes, which are installed during the winter on the Main Street lampposts, wear out and replacement of the wiring harness costs approximately $119 each.

The Chamber has asked the Sun River Electric Cooperative for a donation from the Cooperative’s annual golf course to help fund the replacements and will also contribute money to the replacement fund each year.

Dogiakos said the board also approved placing 10% of dues revenue in a strategic reserve account each year to build six months of accessible operating revenue in times of financial hardship. As of March 7, the House had $9,811 in its checking account.

Dogiakos said the Chamber is working with the town of Choteau to open the visitor center from late May to early September. Frownfelder agreed to do daily cleaning for $5 a day at the center and Asselstine will do a deep cleaning every few weeks. Volunteers will be sought to animate the center.

This week, Chamber After Hours programs resume after being on hiatus for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunity Bank of Choteau is the first company to sign up to offer the open house and will do so on March 17 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and tours of the bank building will be offered .

After the open house, Dogiakos said, everyone is encouraged to drop by the Choteau American Legion Club for St. Patrick’s Day fare and birthday cake as the Legion celebrates its anniversary.

Dogiakos reported that attendance for the House Chili Dinner, held on Super Bowl Sunday at the Stage Stop Inn, was down. The board has thought about it and is planning a different event next year, a chicken wing cooking contest that doesn’t take place at the same time as the big football game.

Chamber members also reviewed a calendar of upcoming events in Choteau, including:

• Choteau Education Foundation quiz night, March 18th.

•Choteau Soroptimists Spring Fling, 19 March.

• Wild Wings Bird Migration Celebrations, March 25-27.

• Old Trail Museum Wild Game Stream, March 26.

• Chili food from the Opportunity Bank for the Choteau Volunteer Fire Department, April 16th.