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Chamber fundraiser breaks records
Chamber fundraiser breaks records

Joe Grumney shows off a basket of laundry items donated by Southwend Laundry at Saturday's Taste of Pulaski County fundraiser.
SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (March 27, 2010) — Saturday’s “Taste of Pulaski County” event drew more people and raised more money than ever before, according to Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cecilia Murray.

“We had a record-breaking year all around,” Murray said. “This is our best attendance ever.”

This year’s event drew 298 adults and 30 kids, and the gross receipts before expenses were $16,288.87. That’s much higher than the previous attendance record of 192 adults and 28 children in 2009, and gross receipts of $14,237.98 in the previous record year of 2007.

“The word has gotten out that this is a fun entertaining event, and because we had more sponsors this year, we were able to do more advertising,” Murray said.

Among those attending was Sheree Kelley of St. Robert, who paid $77.50 to buy a “Suds in the Tub” basket donated by Southwend Laundry. According to the auction list, the basket contains various sizes of cloth towels, washing detergent, antique glass bottles, a washtub, a washboard, a cowboy hat, an apron, fabric flowers, a frame, a gift certificate for a free 10-pound load of laundry, free coffee, and a free laundry punchcard.

Kelley said she placed the winning bid because she liked the pink cowboy hat, but said the other items are interesting as well.

“I have a granddaughter I want to buy this hat for; the rest, I’ll decorate my laundry room with it,” Kelley said.

However, Kelley said she remembers the days when washboards and washtubs weren’t just for decoration.

“The last time I used a washboard was 45 years ago; when I was a little girl, we used them all the time,” Kelley said. “My grandmother had an old wringer washer, and I remember using it.”

Kelley and hundreds of other bidders make the Taste of Pulaski County the largest fundraiser for the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce, Murray said, generating more than 12 percent of the organization’s annual budget.

“This is our largest fundraiser by a lot; most of our other fundraisers would be anywhere from $1,000 to maybe $5,000 depending on what it is,” Murray said.

Proceeds from the event go to the Chamber of Commerce’s general operations and community service activities such as the Chamber Community Forum, the Veterans’ Day parade, a scholarship to a graduating senior, and the Choices program sponsored with the Rotary Club, she said.

“We are a membership-based organization; we are not government funded even though a lot of people think we receive our funding from the cities and the state,” Murray said. “When you figure most members are small business at $150 (annual dues), obviously we still have to raise funds to be able to operate and have community activities.”

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