Union Democrat staff


The Professional Referral Organization of Sonora hosts a business meeting at 7 a.m. every Tuesday at Perko's Cafe, 824 Mono Way, Sonora.

The guest speaker for December is Jan Watson, Jazz It Up on Sparklers Horse SOS, Dec. 13.

There will be a business forum Dec. 20 and there will not be a meeting Dec. 27.

Guest speakers for January are Gat Slor, Prepaid Legal Services, Inc., Jan. 10; Tamara Dockstader, State Farm Insurance, Jan. 24; and Moni Abalos, The Skin Care Studio, Jan. 31.

There will not be a meeting on Jan. 3, and there will be a business forum on Jan. 17.

Local business owners are welcome to attend in consideration of joining the group.

For more information, call Kathie Danicourt at 743-5737, or go to www.sonorapros.com.

Volunteers sought

The AARP Tax-Aide is seeking volunteers in the San Andreas and Valley Springs area to help middle- and low- income taxpayers, particularly those age 60 and older, prepare their federal and state income tax returns.

Those interested in volunteering and becoming a certified Tax-Aide Counselor should attend the Tax Season Kick-off Meeting at 10 a.m. Dec. 13 at the Calaveras County Senior Center, 956 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas. They should also complete approximately 30 hours of free training in early January in basic tax form preparation and use of the IRS-approved software, and pass an IRS certification test.

Volunteers should be able to commit a minimum of one day a week, generally from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., during the tax season which begins in February and ends in April. They will also be reimbursed on a limited basis for qualified program-related expenses.

Those interested in volunteering should be comfortable working with numbers, and have some experience preparing an income tax return. They should also have basic computer skills in order to prepare returns for electronic filing. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.

For more information or to volunteer, call Sharon Neckel at 754-0930 or Lee Vahle at 795-8208.



Tuolumne County area high school juniors and seniors will have a chance to work with some of the region's top CEOs, marketing gurus and technological geniuses during a 13-week Junior Achievement course early next year.

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experimental hands-on programs.

The programs help young people prepare for the real world by showing them how to generate and manage wealth, how to create jobs in their communities, and how to be an entrepreneur. Local business owners and experts will teach after school classes that will focus on preparing teens for future success in the job market. The program is open to all Tuolumne County area high school juniors and seniors who demonstrate an interest in business, economics, marketing, finance, communications, technology and entertainment. Successful applicants will work as part of a team in 13 sessions.

The program is limited to 24 students and the courses will begin on Feb. 2 and run until May 3. The classes will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Sonora Regional Medical Center.

Applicants need to fill out and return a registration packet along with an academic recommendation from a teacher or counselor. The deadline for entry is Dec. 19.

The program is funded by the Economic Development Authority, the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce, KleenSlate Concepts, Golden State Cellular, Black Oak Casino, Sandvik Thermal Process, Groveland Hotel, Sonora Regional, Front Porch, Power-Plus and the county Office of Education.

For more information, call Aaron Roy at 209-536-6117 or e-mail at aaron.roy@sandvik.com.

Chamber contest

The Yosemite Chamber of Commerce will have a decorating contest for all businesses in the downtown Groveland area.

Decorations should include sparkles, candy canes, and all things holiday related.

Judging will be held Dec. 12 and 13.