On behalf of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

As I think about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season, it became clear to me that there are many things that I am thankful for here at the chamber.

I am thankful for the wonderful chamber members who have invest in the chamber and continue to support and promote the chamber in their daily activities. Through their networking, high energy involvement and monthly participation in chamber activities and events, the chamber membership continues to grow and get stronger.

I am thankful to the North Port residents who continue to make our community so unique and wonderful in which to live and do business.

I am thankful to the chamber’s board of directors who provide me the opportunity to be the executive director of the chamber and continue to provide their leadership, experience and knowledge that has been instrumental in the success that the chamber has experienced.

I am thankful for the staff at the chamber, Denise Berg and Karol Bent, whose endless and dedicated work has transformed the daily operations of the chamber for the betterment of our members and the North Port community. Their daily professionalism, hard work ethic and positive attitude have made it such a pleasurable environment to come to work.

I am thankful for the beautiful new chamber office that reflects the tremendous growth the chamber and the community has experienced over the years and presents a positive and professional image to our community.

I am thankful for our city elected leaders and professional staff who have invested, partnered and assisted in the growth of the chamber and the community.

I am thankful for our volunteers at the chamber who give endless hours of their time to help the Chamber succeed through their assistance at the chamber office, monthly Chamber events and special events.

I am thankful for our visitors who come to North Port and experience the wonderful amenities that our community has to offer.

I am thankful to the media outlets that promote chamber and community events which showcase North Port to our residents, businesses and outside communities.

I am thankful to the North Port Sun, which understands the importance of a strong and successful chamber in their community and provides the chamber with the opportunity to write this column on a weekly basis and help promote chamber news, activities and events throughout the year.

Shoe box donations

The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce is an official drop-off location for the Holiday Shoe Box for Seniors Program. This is a program in which you can fill a wrapped shoe box with gifts that will be delivered to needy seniors of our community.

The senior community is a segment of our population that too often gets overlooked or forgotten. For many of our seniors, they have invested their life savings to live and retire in North Port. Many of them live on a fixed income and struggle daily with the increasing cost of living. I would like to ask you to support this worthwhile program and our senior community and make your donation today.

Toys for Tots

The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce is an official drop-off location for the Holiday Toys for Tots Program. This program is being sponsored by the Marine Corps League, Detachment 948.

The chamber would like to encourage the community to donate a new, unwrapped toy at the chamber office so that these toys can be distributed to those less fortunate than us. A special request is made for donation of batteries that can be used with the toys. Please help the chamber bring the joy of the Holiday Season to deserving children and families. All donations are requested to be delivered to the chamber office by Friday, Dec. 14.

Welcome, new member

The chamber would like to welcome Gulf Coast Hurricane Fabric as a new member of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bill Gunnin is the executive director of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 941-564-3040. Visit www.northportareachamber.com. or email at wgunnin@northportareachamber.com for more information.

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