Bill Gunnin

Scott Lawson North Port Editor Bill Gunnin

The holidays are just around the corner and North Port will soon be ablaze with holiday lights and decorations.

The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce will present its annual Frosty Awards to the chamber business or organization judged to exhibit the most festive holiday decorations. This year, there will be two categories in which the Frosty Awards be awarded: the Judge’s Choice Award and People’s Choice Award.

Judging for the Judges Choice Award will be 2 p.m. to 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 our website.

The awards will be presented Dec. 19, at our annual Awards Luncheon.

Entrees are due in the chamber office by Wednesday, Nov. 27. Start decorating soon! Businesses and organizations need to be members of the chamber to be considered.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony

We will be conducting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Gator Wilderness Camp School at noon today (Nov. 19) at our office, 1337 N. Sumter Blvd., North Port. Please join us to welcome Gator Wilderness Camp School. Appetizers and refreshments will be provided

Chamber orientation

We’re having an orientation session at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 20) in the Community Room on the second floor at the Sarasota Memorial ER, 2345 Bobcat Village Center Road. New, current and prospective members can get information on the benefits and opportunities that comes with a chamber membership. Immediately following, we’ll have website training from 9:30-10:30 a.m. where members can learn how to make the most of our site. These sessions are free and open to all chamber members and the public. Please preregister. Doughnuts, coffee and water will be provided.


We’ll have a delicious Thanksgiving buffet Network@Noon luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, (Nov. 21) at Suncoast Technical College, 4445 Career Lane, catered by the college’s Culinary Department. It will include roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, fresh green beans, cranberry sauce and holiday dessert. Please register and pay by today at www.northportarea It’s $15 in advance; $20 at the door.

Holiday Social

We’re having our annual Holiday Social from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 2 at Plantation Golf & Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice. For $25, you get heavy appetizers, non-alcoholic beverages, entertainment and dancing with music by Mike Juaire of Spin It Again DJ Services. A cash bar will be available. Chamber members may select a family in the Giving Tree Program. Presents will be distributed at a reception by Santa Claus at the chamber office.

Awards Luncheon

Chamber members and the public are invited to attend 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 Award Judges Choice & People’s Choice 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.

New members

We welcome SWF Screens as a new member of the North Port Area Chamber of 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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