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Oakhurst Has A New Honorary Mayor

OAKHURST – After 10 weeks of fundraising and a host of community events, the winner has emerged in the race for Honorary Mayor of Oakhurst.

Local entrepreneur Mat Sands, whose charity is the Boys and Girls Club of Oakhurst, has earned the honor by raising the most money for his cause.

Mat is an internet consultant, the owner of Oakhurst Online and OakhurstArea.com. He and candidates Michael Costa for the Little Church on the Hill, and Zona Cahill for the Sierra Senior Society, raised a combined $16,439.67 for their various organizations.

In 2008, Mat came in a close second in his run for Honorary Mayor, raising some $22,000 for the BGC.

Mat is very proud of his hardworking campaign team, headed up by Melanie Barker of Bass Lake Realty, who is President of the BGC Board.

“Melanie works harder than anyone else for the BGC of Oakhurst,” said Mat as the race was heating up. “During the campaign, she has been extremely helpful with creating our partnerships with local businesses and campaign sponsors. I honestly do not know how she is able to juggle so many things at once.”

Also on the BGC campaign committee were Board Members Eric Wood, who is a Loan Officer at W.J. Bradley Mortgage, and Bob Macaulay of the Macaulay Insurance Agency.

On behalf of the BGC, Barker expressed her “heartfelt thanks and gratitude” to the local businesses and sponsor partners who supported the campaign and hosted their events: Round Table Pizza, River Creek Golf Course, South Gate Brewing Company, Queen’s Wine Bar & Beer Garden, The Pizza Factory, Crab Cakes, Bass Lake Water Sports and Bass Lake Realty.

“It was an honor to have such a wonderful candidate representing the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst,” says Barker. “Mat and his campaign team worked hard, and were supported by friends, family, businesses and the community in general. Every dollar raised supports the mission of the Boys & Girls Club by providing a safe environment for the youth of our community.”

She also invites anyone who wishes to financially support The Club to do so through a program called $12 for 12. It is $12 a month for 12 months which comes to $144 per year.”If we had a minimum of 500 donors per month that would support the basic operations of our club,” says Barker. For more information go to bgcoakhurst.com.

Karen White of the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce Foundation says administering the 2014-2015 Honorary Mayor Campaign was a pleasure for the Foundation, allowing them to fulfill their mission to facilitate and provide a mechanism for community-based projects.

“Congratulations to Honorary Mayor Mat Sands,” says White. “The Foundation looks forward to a fun and successful term for him.”

Darin Soukup, Executive Director of the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, sees the Honorary Mayor campaign as a wonderful opportunity for the candidates to raise awareness for their chosen organization, highlight the important role the non-profits play in their community. and provide an infusion of cash that is often vital to the very survival of these organizations or critical projects.

“Mat, Michael and Zona are to be commended for all the time, energy and resources they have tirelessly committed on behalf of their organizations,” says Soukup, who also acknowledges the contributions of the community, which has once again stepped up and provided tremendous support to the candidates and their causes.

“I am confident that the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce Foundation will continue to be a very good home for this very important community event,” he says. “I really anticipate that the Foundation will take next year’s campaign into new directions that will be of great benefit to everyone involved, and I look forward to hearing great things next year.”

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