BONNE TERRE — The Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce is making plans to celebrate the holidays once again with the 34th annual Christmas Parade.
Bonne Terre Chamber President Julie Pratte said the parade will begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 during the monthly investor’s meeting Wednesday afternoon at Homestead Restaurant.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Christmas Past.” Floats can depict anything from 17th century Christmas to a World War I or II-era Christmas, Christmas from 100 years ago or even a Wild West Christmas.
Parade entry forms are available at the chamber office, located at 30 North Allen Street. For more information or to obtain a form, contact the chamber office at 573-358-4000. The deadline to register an entry is Nov. 27 at 1 p.m.
Prior to the start of the parade, Centenary Methodist Church will host the annual the annual chili or soup supper at Cornerstone Cafe from 4 to 6 p.m. The cost is $6 and includes chili or soup, oyster crackers, large hot dogs, chips, a drink and dessert.
Attending her first chamber investors meeting as Executive Director, Dana Plunkett reminded everyone of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Diamond Drill Park. The Community Betterment Committee sponsors the event and asks families attending to bring an ornament to hang on the tree.
The committee is also selling ads for T-shirts in honor of the city’s 150th anniversary next year. The cost for ads is $25.
Plunkett reminded everyone tickets are still available for the Masquerade Ball on Dec. 31. Tickets are $80 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office.
She clarified the dress for the event is more formal attire, not necessarily only Civil War or Victorian as some had believed it to be.
“We are asking to have a masquerade mask since it’s a masquerade ball,” she said.
She said the next Community Betterment meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 at City Hall.
Rev. Dwight Jones from Harvest Christian Centre highlighted ways local businesses can help with annual Foster Kids Christmas Party. He was speaking on behalf of his wife, Tammy, who organizes the event each year. The party is held for children in the 24th Judicial Circuit which includes St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Washington and Madison Counties.
The children participate in a number of fun activities during the party. There’s a visit from Santa Claus, games, crafts, food and gift bags.
The party will be held Dec. 10.
He explained local businesses and individuals can help by filling a child’s wish list for $50, giving cash donations or by purchasing a Walmart gift card in the amount of $50. Jones said there are currently 65 children who need a gift card.
The deadline for children who have been sponsored is Dec. 2. Cash donations will be accepted until Dec. 10
For more information, call Tammy Jones at 573-431-8000 or 760-2436 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca Marler from East Missouri Action Agency highlighted how the agency provides assistance to those needing more information regarding the Affordable Care Act.
Marler said her office sets up appointments to help individuals complete the application process, noting the phone and paper application process has proven to be much faster than the online process.
She said the agency does not handle the personal information of those wanting to enroll. Instead, they guide someone through the application process.
Chamber Board member Paul Williams said the nominating committee had selected three nominees for the board. Kevin Bess, Katie Bockman and Jeremiah Murphy were approved as the nominees for the board. It was announced earlier in the meeting Bess and Bockman had been asked to fill two empty seats on the board — one due to a resignation, the other being Plunkett’s seat.
Williams said he would also be “putting on another hat” as school board president to speak about the no-tax increase bond issue the school board voted to put on the April ballot at Tuesday night’s board of education meeting.
He wanted to highlight a portion of what the $7 million bond issue would be spent on should the measure pass.
“Ninety-five percent of the money is going to be spent at the primary School, kindergarten center and intermediate center,” he said.
He acknowledged the other five percent is going towards a project “that for some people is going to be a little controversial.”
Approximately $300,000 would be used to put artificial turf at the North County High School football field.
Williams said this is the right time for this project since the EPA will be remediating the present football field.
“If they take the grass turf off and the dirt down, that’s half of the cost of the project,” he said. “It’s the ideal time to do this and it’s going to cost us half the amount of money.”
The chamber had five new members in the last four weeks. Kare 4 Kids Daycare and Early Learning Center, J.E.N. Heating and Cooling, Veteran Vapor, East Missouri Action Agency and Domino’s Pizza are the newest investors.
The chamber will hold its next meeting on Dec. 18 at Heritage Hall.