By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN - Since 1933, Cokato Chamber of Commerce, originally known as the Cokato Association for Public Affairs, has been working to promote the city of Cokato and area businesses.
Each month, on the first Tuesday, the Cokato Chamber of Commerce meets over noon lunch at Cokato City Hall to share a meal and ideas with fellow members of the business community.
The 2009 Cokato Chamber of Commerce executive committee are Dorene Erickson, president; Steve Dietman, vice president; Dori Kimball, treasurer; Mike Seaberg, secretary; and Dan Stonelake, past president.
The Cokato Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary association of business people working together to improve the economic and civic vitality in its community, according to the web site.
Movie in the Park
For the second year, the Cokato Chamber is bringing back Movie in the Park Saturday, Aug. 29.
This year’s film is “Bolt,” an animated Walt Disney movie, about a dog who believes he has super powers and gets lost as he tries to find his owner.
The chamber chose “Bolt” because it’s a family-friendly animated film that appeals to all ages.
In the past, the chamber hosted an annual pork chop dinner. But because of rising costs, the chamber has chosen to bring movie night to the community, along with a hotdog stand as an annual fundraiser replacing the pork chop dinner.
In its first year, donations from local businesses were vital to staging the event.
“Although the local businesses have been very generous this year, it still doesn’t cover all the expenses,” said Dietman, chair of Movie in the Park.
To ensure it becomes an annual event, donations are needed to help cover expenses. Donation jars will be placed at the vendors’ stands throughout the park the night of the event.
Some of the vendors include K and K Fun Time and Party Rentals, Godfather’s Pizza, and Sunny Road ice cream.
Vendors will be open by approximately 7 p.m., and the movie will begin around dusk.
Dietman says he is hoping, with the support of the community, Movie in the Park will take place more than once a year.
In case of rain, a reschedule date is yet to be announced.
“I hope to see everybody out there,” Dietman said, adding he hopes to see more events like this sponsored by the community to keep people in town.
Other chamber events
Each year in February, the Cokato Chamber hosts Hospitality Day at the Cokato City Hall with free cherry pie and coffee. The date has yet to be announced for 2010.
The chamber hosts a business expo each year at the Dassel-Cokato High School, where area businesses and organizations have the opportunity to set up a booth and promote themselves and the services/products they offer.
The date for this event is also yet to be announced.
In conjunction with Early Childhood Family Education Center, the chamber hosts Santa Day at the center complete with crafts, storytelling, and . . . Santa, of course. It takes place the first Saturday in December. This year, Santa Day will be Saturday, Dec. 5.
Every spring, the chamber sponsors the Cokato Citywide Garage Sale the last Saturday in April.
To join Cokato Chamber
For those interested in joining the Cokato Area Chamber of Commerce, contact LouAnn Worden at Cokato City Hall, (320) 286-5505.