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Canton Chamber Approves 2023 Budget
CANTON – The Canton Chamber of Commerce met on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 8:30 a.m. in the chamber building on Main Street. Those present included: Eric Schoonover, Amy Seeley, Chris Boggs, Amy Martell, Frank Watson, Bridget Callahan, Colleen Ritts, Misti Machmer, Mary Beth Schoonover, Leon English, Robyn Cummings, Sherry Lambert and Sonya Metzger.
Superintendent Martell presented the Canton Area School District’s report. Boys and girls basketball games, along with wrestling matches and tournaments are happening weekly and the schedules can be found on the school’s website calendar. A Competition Cheer Championship will be held on Jan. 14 in Shamokin. There is a new PII sport called Bocce ball, which combines regular education students with those students with special needs and is a really fun sport. They will have a game at Troy on Jan. 25, play at home against Athens on Jan. 30 and be at Liberty on Jan. 31. FFA is setting up a display and making presentations at the PA Farm Show, along with FCCLA will also be setting up exhibits and have presentations there on Jan. 9. The District Chorus Festival will be held at the Lycoming College CAC on Jan.13. On Jan. 19, the County Band festival will be held at the Towanda High School. The Drama Club is beginning rehearsals already for their March performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
Canton Borough Reprt
Seeley advised that the Borough budget was passed in December and there was no tax increase. A grant was received for the welcome sign near the fireman’s field and it was reinstalled yesterday. The Street Department did install most of the new benches down at the playground area, along with two new playground interactive pieces and have two memorial ones to place yet. She hasn’t heard back on any of the grants yet that she submitted.
Lions Club Report
Eric Schoonover reported that the Canton Lions Club had a successful fundraising event in December and at the last meeting they voted to distribute the funds from that event as follows: $500 to the Green Free Library, (which is in addition to the $500 already earmarked to them), $500 to the Rialto Theatre, $500 to the Canton Chamber and $500 to the Food Pantry, to assist the non-profit organizations with their electric and heating bills.
Seeley then provided the Treasurer’s Report and advised the balance sheet was sent with the President’s email and she provided the spreadsheet for the 2023 budget, which includes the insurance cost and added the grant money that was received, along with adding the expenditures for the grant money, plus the 25%.
President Schoonover advised the Secretary’s report has been printed out and also was in the paper.
For the Tourism and Promotion Agency, Cummings reported the annual guide is at the printers right now and will be distributed in the next couple weeks. She advised all of the grants have been distributed. On the website, www.bradfordcounty.com there is a new platform that everyone needs to make sure they add their events to. With regard to the gravel bike loop in the four counties, they are invited to attend the big bike conference and convention in Toronto in March and can bring along another speaker. She will be requesting Cain Chamberlin, Executive Director of the Endless Mountains Heritage Region to go along and will also ask him to attend the next Chamber meeting. This will allow them additional networking opportunities and resources to share with the cycling communities. The next phase will be to obtain businesses so cyclists have places to charge devices, bike repairs, etc. There have been loop testers from TX on it as well.
Cummings advised the mural is to be installed next Spring on the train car. In October when the artist was ready, they only had two and a half weeks turnaround time and couldn’t get it sandblasted by then.
President Schoonover stated there is a lot of interest in the gravel bike loop. People want to get on the loop, probably as early as May, to set the fastest known time on the loop. The official start is on the east side of the loop, with Canton on the bottom west corner. There may be a full race in August, which is in the planning stages and on June 16 the Grinduro returns to Sullivan County, which was well attended last year with a couple hundred of people. They already have 50 to 60 cyclists already registered.
Canton Cycling Club officially sponsors the Tour de Shunk, which will be held on Sunday, Sept. 17. There will be gravel personalities starting it off on Friday at Rockgirt Bed and Breakfast and pre-ride up Armenia Mountain on Saturday, along with participating in the Tour de Shunk on Sunday. “All three events together are going to give us an opportunity to exhibit our green space,” said President Schoonover.
Cummings stated it also provides economic benefits for our downtown to support recreation. Easy ways to have local businesses involved are to provide a public restroom, supply water to refill water bottles, bike racks, etc.
Watson informed the Chamber that they use the same roads for the motorcycle ride as the cyclists do. Recently, he was contacted by a 70 year old club requesting him to guide them when they come into the area again. The people are interested and need to get restaurants here for the people to patronize. Watson said, “we can get them here and then sell the town to them, so we have to do a good job on that.”
Callahan advised they just celebrated their first year anniversary with the Rialto being under Rekindle the Spirit. This month at the Rialto they are providing the movie “Devotion”, which Adam Makos is doing a video introduction for and they are the only theatre in the country that has that. Makos donated ten books, three of which will be given out as prizes and the other seven will be on sale at the ticket booth. She said the veterans are very interested in this movie since the Korean War doesn’t get spoken about much in movies.
New this year is a talent show, ‘Warriors Got Talent’, which will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21. They are requesting sponsorships for prizes (monetary or a prize) for students in K – 12, broken down in three categories, with judging. First and second place prizes will be awarded in each category. Randy Frey and the Canton Elementary music instructor are working with kids to prepare them for this event. A donation will be received at the door.
On Friday, Jan. 6, tickets go on sale for the Feb. 17, Gabe StillmanShow, who will be back providing Blues, Classic Rock and he is highly interactive with the kids. He has been opening for ZZ Top. Cost is $20, under 12 is $7.
Beginning this month, up until May, Classic Comedy Movie Mondays will be held the second Monday of every month. This month will be from a classic comedy from the 90’s, “Tommy Boy,” and Feb. will be from the 80’s, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Thereafter, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, “Pink Panther” and also, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” will be shown. Tickets are $7 each.
In addition, Ike Bowers will be performing in March, and will have an Elvis impersonator who will also give a history class for a specific era. Angie Schoonover is working on a Paragon Ragtime in May, which will be a silent film with a live orchestra coming in to accompany the silent film with many fancy things being added for it.
Seeley advised that currently she has received 34 memberships, with a few applications still out.
Building and Grounds
President Schoonover advised need additional design work done to put the package together. He thanked everyone for putting the building together for the holiday showcase. The second floor has been winterized.
Seeley stated that more than $2,000 was made from the sale of the raffle tickets and all winners have been notified. Also, thank you notes went out to all who supported the raffle by donating prizes, without that we wouldn’t be able to do it.
Bus. Dec. Contest
President Schoonover advised there were five judges, aged ten on up, who were not affiliated with the Chamber, a Chamber business or organization, who submitted their choices. First place went to First Citizen’s Bank, Frank watson/Watson Diesel received second place, with Moore’s Trucking obtaining third place.
Seeley advised she received the insurance numbers and upon the tax exempt status being researched, it is not as easy as thought. She added in the tourism money from 2022, as well as the expenditures will need from that in 2023. Boggs made a Motion to accept the 2023 Budget, Martell seconded it.
President Schoonover advised there is a fair amount of Chamber merchandise left from over the years and can now take credit card payments if anyone is interested in purchasing any of it.
Rhonnda Claiborne from Wysox has a non-profit round table which is a group that gets together quarterly to discuss the issues with non-profits in the area and share information about grants. It will be held at the Lackawanna College in Towanda at noon on Feb. 21, May 16, Aug. 15 and Nov. 21. They have virtual options also if unable to attend. Cummings stated they moved to quarterly from monthly and provide funding sources, assist with grant writing and is approximately one hour long, with great resources there.
President Schoonover advised they will work on having a camera and monitor at the next month to provide a virtual option.
The next Canton Chamber of Commerce meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 2 at noon at the Canton Chamber building.
Writing: Sherry Lambert
Produced by Vogt Media
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