By TEDDYE SNELL
Spring is on the horizon, and members of Tahlequah Leadership Class 14 are gearing up for their third annual Tahlequah Business Expo, edging closer to their goal of providing the community with some summer fun.
The Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce has inducted Leadership Classes 15 and 16, but members of Class 14 committed to hosting the Expo every year until they raise enough money to help the Cherokee Nation and city of Tahlequah purchase a community splash pad.
The event is slated for Saturday, March 30, in the Herb Rozell Ballroom of the Northeastern State University Center, and should provide participants with ample networking opportunities.
“Booth space is now 75 percent full,” said Rosenthal. “The most recent additions include AT&T, Indian Capital Technology Center, The Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, 31 Gifts, and we’re working on several more.”
Rosenthal said booth spaces with good locations are still available, and encourages any business owner looking to participate to contact Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Moore at (918) 456-3742.
“The 2013 Expo looks to be a promising event for both businesses participating in the event, and those who are going to attend,” said Moore. “I think it is the No. 1 event in town to network and promote your business.”
Last year, a number of nonprofit organizations had booths, and Rosenthal said several have been added this year.
Non-profit organizations seeking booth space receive a reduced rate.
“We’ll have the local Republican Party and Habitat for Humanity,” said Rosenthal. “We also have one fraternity from NSU, Pi Kappa Alpha. The fraternity members will be there to help exhibitors carry items in, and then will have a booth to interact with visitors to let them know about their community service programs.”
Arvest and BancFirst have agreed to participate, and “Ask The Docs,” one of the more popular booths from previous Expos, will be open to field questions from community members.
“We’ll have health care providers from the community available to answer questions for free,” said Rosenthal.
Last year, former University of Oklahoma quarterback Paul Thompson attended, signed autographs and had pictures taken with participants. Rosenthal said they’re working on some “celebrity” appearances for this year’s Expo.
“We haven’t firmed up the special guests just yet,” said Rosenthal. “We’re still working on several, and will make an announcement as soon as possible.”
Early projections indicate Leadership Class 14 is on target to meet its fundraising goal this year.
“This should be the last year Leadership Class 14 is responsible for the event, because our contribution will be met for the splash pad,” said Rosenthal. “The Chamber will take over the Expo after at. We’re hoping at the end of this Expo, our contribution will be $30,000.”
The 2013 Tahlequah Business Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 30, in the Herb Rozell Ballroom of the University Center at Northeastern State University. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children ages 10-15. Children under 10 are admitted free.