Wood County Industrial Commission directors distributed $75,000 in Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds Thursday – spread among 24 different events and organizations in Wood County.
The majority of the grants went to the Lake Fork area for fishing tournaments. Sealey Outdoors received $9,000 for the annual Big Bass Splash; Bass Champs received the largest amount awarded, $10,750; Skeeter Products, $7,500; Yantis Catfish Classic, $5,500; Lake Fork Chamber of Commerce, $5,300 for a tournament and $4,650 for boat shows; Legends of Lake Fork, $5,000; Bass on the Fly, $1,500; and Patriot Sporting Challenge, $1,000.
Mineola-area projects funded include Mineola Economic Development Corporation, $3,000 for Iron Horse Square Project and $2,000 for Lake Country Trails; Mineola League of Arts, $400; Mineola Chamber of Commerce, $2,500 for Iron Horse Festival, $1,500 for Fiesta Days, and $1,200 for Visitor Center. APET-SPCA will receive $1,000 for the Pedal to Paw program.
In the Quitman area, the Old Settlers Reunion Association received $4,000 for the annual reunion; Quitman Chamber of Commerce got $500 the Dogwood Festival; and Lake Country Classic Cars got $750 for a car show.
The Hawkins Chamber of Commerce received $750 for the Oil Festival and the Love Lake Hawkins group received $200 for the annual fireworks show at Lake Hawkins.
Winnsboro’s Autumn Trails Association received $3,500 for Autumn Trails; Winnsboro Rodeo Association received $1,000 for the annual rodeo and the Four Corners Foundation received $2,500 for the Wine/Art Festival in November.
Prior to the meeting, former board member Janna Castloo received a plaque recognizing her contribution to the WCIC for her service by Board Chairman Gerald Elliott. Castloo represented the Mineola area on the board. She is the newly elected Wood County Republican Chair and according to WCIC by-laws, elected officials can’t serve on the board.
“I really don’t need this recognition because there are people here who have done a whole lot more than I have. I do want to tell you how much I appreciate working with you and I hope y’all continue with this work,” Castloo noted. “This group is good for Wood County. We all need to work together to make it better for everyone. I appreciate this and I will see y’all around the county.” Castloo’s replacement on the board is Mineola realtor Pat Hamlet.
The board meets in Winnsboro next month though an exact location has yet to be decided.