Another August is upon us, so as the students head back to school and the dust settles from the busy summer, we turn our focus to readying our rakes for the fall and getting back to work (did we ever really stop?). The Oakdale Chamber of Commerce remains busy doing what it does, which is helping to create a strong local economy by connecting businesses, engaging the community, and promoting the City of Oakdale.

I’m always interested in reading the Oakdale Chamber referrals in this column every month. Residents and visitors alike tend to think of the local Chamber of Commerce first when seeking information about a community. The Oakdale Chamber fields quite a few phone calls and walk-in inquiries every day regarding a variety of topics: What’s happening in Oakdale? Where is a good place to eat? Where should I stay? What is there to do around here? You got any maps? In addition to calling or visiting the Chamber office, inquiring minds can also visit the Chamber’s website, www.oakdalechamber.com, which includes a searchable business directory, business resources, a community calendar, a history of the City of Oakdale, relocation information, a visitor’s section with nearby activities, and more. In the next few paragraphs, I would like to highlight a few of the ongoing things the Chamber is doing to fulfill its mission statement.

Concerts in the Park: There are still two weeks left in the free Friday Concert in Park series in Dorada Park, which runs through August. Bring your lawn chair and picnic (no glass is allowed) and enjoy a fun, family-friendly, concert in the park! Music begins at 6:30 p.m. Thank you to our business and individual sponsors!

Taste of Oakdale: The Chamber of Commerce presents the 9th Annual Taste of Oakdale at the Gene Bianchi Community Center on Tuesday, August 29th, from 5 pm to 8 pm. This is always a fun event where you can sample local restaurants, caterers, microbrews, wines, bakery items, and more. You do not necessarily need to be a Chamber member to participate as a vendor, and the Chamber can usually squeeze in last minute participants, so give the Chamber a call and show off what you do best!

Oakdale Chamber Golf Classic: September 11th is the date of the 4th Annual Oakdale Chamber Golf Classic at the Oakdale Golf & Country Club. The tournament is open to all players in a fun, skill-optional, 4-Person Scramble. But you don’t need to sign up as a foursome; any single, pair, or trio can enter and the Chamber will match you up to fill out a foursome. Or, join your golfing friends for dinner after the round and listen to them regale about that long putt that should have gone in except for that one “ball mark” in front of the cup. Yeah, right!

Strategies for Business Success: This is a nine week Monday evening course that starts September 18th; classes are held at the Oakdale Chamber conference room from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.  This low-cost class is taught by business consultants in conjunction with the Valley Sierra SBDC Small Business Development Center and will touch on business management topics designed to improve the bottom line of your business.

And finally, a thank you to all our members, which include not only large, small, and micro businesses, but also interested individuals. It is always an honor for me, as President of the Chamber, to sign a Certificate of Appreciation to a Member that reaches a milestone year of participation with the Chamber. I recently signed such thank you certificates for Juarez, Zarate & Company, CPA’s (20 years) and Hi-Tech Emergency Vehicle Services, Inc. (30 years). In addition, this being the 100th anniversary of the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, I will have the distinct honor of thanking A.L. Gilbert Company for 100 years of membership! I need to get back to work, but I will see you around town!