A budget for the year 2014 showing total income exceeding expenses by more than $62,000 was approved Tuesday by members of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors.

Figures for the 2014 budget show actual income of $361,614 and expenses totaling $298,817. The document shows the largest portion of the bureau’s money comes from a pair of sales taxes, with $172,666 coming from a state tax (hotel/motel) and $176,500 from a local one-cent tax.

On the expense side of the ledger, the bureau spent $96,844 for advertisement, promotions and printing. That was the largest expense item in the budget.

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“We had a really good year in 2014,” board chairman Kerry Easley said.

Officers for 2015 were elected Tuesday with little change noted in the group that will lead the bureau. Kerry Easley was reelected president of the board, Jerry Madden will again serve as vice president and Mary McKinney will serve another term as secretary. New board member Ty Pendergrass was elected treasurer.

Committee assignments were also handed out, with Ty Pendergrass named chairman of the personnel committee,
Jerry Madden picked as chairman of the grants committee and new board member Francis Irving selected to head the advertising committee. WPCVB director Lynn Dorsey will serve on the advertising committee and Mary McKinney joins Pendergrass on the personnel committee.

A pair of $1,000 advertising grant applications received board approval, including one that will announce the replacement of a long-standing event in the area.

On April 18, the Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardeners will sponsor the first Green Thumb Jamboree. According to the grant application, the event will replace the group’s annual Trails and Trellises garden tour for 2015.

According to the application, Green Thumb Jamboree will consist of tours of the teaching garden located at the Webster Parish Extension Office, the annual plant sale, numerous vendors, speakers, hands-on demonstrations and children’s activities.

Organizers expect between 350 and 400 visitors will attend the inaugural event.

Also receiving the maximum ad grant is the Burn Run, a motorcycle rally organized by Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club, Inc., a group of firefighters and their families. The 13th annual edition of the Burn Run will help raise money for the ArkLaTex Burn Camp in Scottsville, Texas.

According to the grant application, the event is scheduled for mid-April and is expected to attract approximately 300 participants.

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