This is the big week! It’s almost time for the annual Key Agency “A Night at the Races,” set for 5-10 p.m. Saturday at George Mullen Activity Center.

Presented by Key Agency, this North Port Chamber event will be filled with fun and excitement for anyone who enjoys horse racing, dancing and winning fabulous prizes.

The thoroughbred horse races are up-to-date productions shot with five cameras. Each race features commentary by professional racetrack announcers. Everyone gets “play money” with their ticket in order to bet.

There will be a special hat contest, a reverse raffle and live auction plus casino games. There will be a buffet, plus snacks and beverages. A special pre-race reception, sponsored by the North Port Moose Lodge 764, will be 4-5 p.m.

Cost is $50 per person or $90 per couple. Table sponsorships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit for more info.


We’ll be conducting a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce Classical Ballet Academy as a new chamber member. Come check out the academy at our ceremony, set for 4 p.m. Monday, May 23 at 4847 E. Price Blvd., North Port. Beverages and snacks will be provided.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, come by Salt & Light Holistic Spa, 2453 Sycamore St., North Port. Light dessert snacks will be provided.


This month’s Network @ Noon Luncheon is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 19 at AMVET Post 312, 7050 Chancellor Blvd., North Port. Your $20 ticket includes lunch, beverages and some great networking. Please reserve by Tuesday. Bring a door prize to give away.


The North Port Area Chamber’s summer “BILL”board campaign is back. I’ll be kicking it off May 31. It will continue until Sept. 2.

This is your chance to promote your business during a typically slower time of year without spending a lot. I’ll proudly wear your business shirt — size XXL preferred, but XL will work — on your scheduled day. I’m frequently out in the community, and a good number of visitors stop by our office, so lots of people will see it. I’ll also e-mail a brief promo out about your business to our chamber members that day, and will post the promo and a picture of myself wearing your shirt on our Facebook page.

To schedule a day, call 941-564-3040 or email me at


Our next Chamber Orientation session is set for 8:30 a.m. May 25 at Olde World Restaurant, 14415 S. Tamiami Trail. Learn about the benefits and opportunities that come with a chamber membership. Open to all new, current or prospective members, its free. A breakfast menu will be available for meal purchases. Register in advance.


We welcome Fisher Lifestyle Concierge Services and Taylored Inspections as a new members of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce.


Congratulations to those who have re-invested in the chamber and the North Port community: Caribbean American Culture Connections, Golf Coast Magazine, Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Homes, Keller Williams Realty Gold-The Thomas Wenck Team, Re/Max Anchor Realty-Carol St. Germain, Waste Management of Florida and WKDW Community Broadband Radio Association (97.5 FM).

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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