OAKHURST – The race for Honorary Mayor of Oakhurst gets underway with a big Kickoff event on Thursday, Apr. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Yosemite Bank in Oakhurst.
Three candidates have thrown their hats into the ring thus far, and there is still time for anyone wanting to come on-board at the last minute, though the minutes are ticking down.
Candidates who have stepped up as of Tuesday, Apr. 8, are Mathew Sands who is running for the Boys and Girls Club of Oakhurst, Zona Cahill will be raising funds for the Sierra Senior Society, and Michael Costa has his sights set on winning for the Little Church on the Hill.
To win the race, the Honorary Mayoral candidates raise money for their favorite non-profit organization through various and always entertaining events. Each dollar raised during the campaign counts as a vote; the candidate with the most votes wins the title and duties of the Honorary Mayor of Oakhurst. Organizers encourage everyone to vote early and often.
Over the years the annual Oakhurst Honorary Mayoral Campaign has brought awareness to and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for many local charities. A record breaking $161,655 was raised during the 2013 Honorary Mayoral Campaign.
This year’s campaign will run from Thursday, Apr. 10 through Thursday, July 10.
The current reigning Honorary Mayor, Brian Gearhart, won last year after raising the most money for his charity, the Eastern Madera County SPCA. Brian had previously earned the title in 2006 and 2009.
This will be the first year that this longstanding community wide event will be run by the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce (EMCCC) Foundation. Previously, the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce (OACC) has administrated the event and will be lending its support through this year’s transition. After many months of discussion between the two boards, the EMCCC Foundation agreed to administer this important annual event at their regular monthly board meeting on Mar. 13.
“The Chamber has been reorienting its priorities in the last couple of years and continues to focus resources towards business advocacy and economic development,” said Chamber President Todd Miller. “It soon became clear that the community oriented Honorary Mayor campaign was an excellent fit with the Foundation’s mission. The Honorary Mayor Campaign has a long history with the Chamber and will continue to be a vital source of fundraising for many of our local non-profits under its new home.”
The event truly fits the mission of the EMCCC Foundation: To facilitate and provide a mechanism for Chamber and community-based projects that enhance the Eastern Madera County communities, their businesses and residents.
The EMCCC Foundation has been quietly supporting community based projects since 1994. This important organization has been involved with many projects that have been a great benefit to our community including: River Parkway, Sidewalk Program, Communitree Program, Civic Circle Project, Downtown Mural Project, Ahwahnee Regional Park, Tree Mitigation, Golden Chain Restoration Project, Highway 41/49 Project, and Community bench and trashcan project.
Anyone interested in running for the title of 2014 Oakhurst Honorary Mayor may contact the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce at 559-683-7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an application packet.