ONTARIO — The Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce is set to host its annual fundraising event, ONTCCY, at Four Rivers Cultural Center’s Hikaru Mizu Japanese Garden on Saturday.

The event will feature a social hour with a silent auction starting at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m.

The newspaper followed up with Chamber President and CEO John Breidenbach on Tuesday afternoon to find out what all this event entails and provided a preview of some of the items being offered this year.

Breidenbach started off by saying that he was “unsure” as to why the name of the event is “ONTCCY,” but offered some insight as to where the name originated from saying that “ONT” comes from “Ontario” and “CC” is for “chamber” and “commerce,” however the “Y” he said he thought was supposed to be indicative of “for you.”

Although, he did reiterate that no one knows for certain what the name means.

As for the purpose of the event, Breidenbach said that it is two-fold.

He said that the first being that most non-profit organizations, like the chamber, would prefer to hold a “major fundraiser” rather than “raising membership fees” for its members.

Breidenbach said that it is important to the chamber to keep “costs for members at a minimum.”

The second reason for the ONTCCY event is for the people connected to area businesses can network and to “restimulate the economy.”

Breidenbach said that this opportunity is one that is important for local businesses as they can interact with one another and after a year of cancelled events during the COVID-19 lockdown mandates, people are ready to see one another.

He said that one of the changes this year is that the event is taking place during the summer, instead of April like it normally does.

Breidenbach said that there are more than 140 silent auction items and more than 20 live auction to bid on.

He said that the items are one that have been donated by businesses in the chamber area as well as individuals.

Breidenbach gave a “shout out” to Cheryl Farley who brought in more than 40 gift baskets and “reached out to others” in the community to make a contribution to the event.

Community members might remember Farley was selected to be the chamber’s “Woman of the Year” for 2019.

Breidenbach said that there is a variety of items to be bid on including a custom fishing rod made by Ontario Public Works Committee Chairman Bernie Babcock.

“We want them to come out and network,” said Breidenbach.

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