Bill Gunnin

Scott Lawson North Port Editor Bill Gunnin

The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce is conducting a year-end membership drive.

The idea is to encourage businesses that are not currently chamber members to expand their efforts and make a commitment to help their business grow and be more successful. We are offering non-chamber businesses an opportunity to join and receive benefits that will help you achieve that goal.

Any business that joins the chamber by Dec. 31 will receive a free ad in the North Port Sun newspaper, which is a $216 value. The business will be entered a raffle to win a 55-inch smart TV, valued at $420 and donated by Walmart Supercenter. And, the chamber will waive the $25 administrative free.

This is also the last chance that a business can join the chamber and claim the membership dues on their 2019 business tax return. Any current and active chamber member who solicits and secures a new chamber member during the membership drive will receive a $25 credit to their chamber account (for each new member), and be entered into a raffle to win the “Business Spotlight” in the February 2020 Communicator newsletter.

Frosty Awards

This year, there are two ways you can win a Frosty Award: Judges Choice and People’s Choice.

Judging for the Judges Choice Award will be from 2-9 p.m. Dec. 11. The public may vote for the People’s Choice Award the week of Dec. 9-13, by completing a ballot form at each of the decorating businesses or organizations, or voting on the chamber website.

The Frosty Awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Luncheon, set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 19 at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club.

I encourage you to visit each of these businesses/organizations next week and see their beautiful holiday decorations and complete the official ballot for the People’s Choice Award.

Here are the competing businesses:

• ApexNetwork Physical Therapy, 14899 Tamiami Trail, North Port.

• North Port City Hall, Lobbies on All Three Floors.

• North Port Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty, 14972 Tamiami Trail, North Port.

• Heron Creek Golf & Country Club, 5301 Heron Creek Blvd., North Port.

• La Casa Resident-Owned Park, 300 El Prado, North Port.

• Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office, 4970 City Hall Blvd. (inside City Hall), North Port.

• The Rock Box Music School & Stage, 5400 S. Biscayne Drive, Suite F & G, North Port.

Awards Luncheon

Chamber members and the public are invited to the Annual Awards Banquet, set for 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club. All nominees and winners of the 2019 Business-of-the-Year Awards and the Annual Frosty Awards will be announced. All committee members who volunteered over the past year will be recognized. The cost is $25 and includes a choice of pork loin with fire-roasted apple demi or chicken frances, along with whipped potato, green beans and beverages. Table sponsorships are $250 for six people or half-table for $150. Come join us as we recognize the nominated and winning businesses/organizations for their accomplishments and success. Space is limited, so register for now.

Toys for Tots

We are an official drop-off location for the Holiday Toys for Tots program, sponsored by the Marine Corps League, Detachment 948. Please help us bring the joy of the holiday season to a deserving child by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy. Batteries for toys are especially helpful. The collection is at 1337 N. Sumter Blvd., and will end Dec. 13.

Shoe Box for Seniors

The chamber is a drop-off location for the Holiday Shoe Box for Seniors program. You can fill a wrapped shoe box with gifts that will be delivered to needy seniors of our community like stamps, stationery, a nice pen, socks, slippers, books, lotions, personal hygiene items, games, puzzles, crafting kits, sweets and treats, etc., by Dec. 9. Please wrap the top and bottom of the shoe box separately and state whether it is for a male or female.

New member

We’d like to welcome DLP/Brite Homes as a new member of the North Port Commerce.

Bill Gunnin is executive director of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 941-564-3040 or, or visit www.northportarea


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