Financially healthy chamber supports community events

Greetings from the helm of your Homer Chamber of Commerce.

As I get to understand better the workings of this organization, the balancing of our finances has made me acutely aware of just how vital our fundraising programs are: They are the fuel that makes the chamber run.

I never understood, for example, that the Jackpot Halibut Derby is our second most important source of funds, next to our membership drive. And the other events we put on that make money keep us solvent through the year.

Very simply, if we don’t have a successful Winter King Tournament, Jackpot Halibut Derby and car-ATV raffle, we’re in trouble.

Starting this month, we’re in a push to sell every single car-ATV raffle ticket (“there’s only 500”) we have to sell because these funds raised will carry our operating expenses into next summer, when we start making money on the halibut derby. 

You may be saying, “What do I care about the chamber’s finances?” 

If you do care about the community events we produce, like Winter Carnival, Christmas tree lighting, Cleanup Day and the Fourth of July parade, then it might be important to you.

It’s pretty sobering for me, as the new executive director, to understand how uncertain this can be. But I realize, at the same time, that our chamber has never faltered (or defaulted) and that’s because of your support. 

And that brings me to the simple message I have for you: Please don’t forget to buy your car-ATV raffle tickets. The raffle runs through Nov. 14. Thanks.

Finally, on to some fun. On Saturday, Sept. 21, we’re helping coordinate the first Taste of Homer, at Wasabi’s from 4-10 p.m. Featuring food and beverages from some of Homer’s best restaurants, there’ll also be live music by the Holy Santos Gang, and a silent and live auction to benefit the Homer Farmers’ Market. The Homer Trolley will provide transportation to and from the Farmers’ Market parking lot between the hours of 4 and 10 p.m.

Early-bird tickets are $35 and $40 at the door. Available at the Homer Bookstore, Homer Chamber of Commerce, Homer Farmers’ Market, Land’s End and Wasabi’s, tickets can also be purchased online at

Jim Lavrakas is the executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce.