Mathew Sands, owner of Oakhurst Online, was named the 2014/15 Honorary Mayor of Oakhurst by the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce & Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Sands raised a total of $10,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst after organizing many fundraising events over a three month period.

Mathew Sands is a long-time resident of Oakhurst and a Yosemite High School graduate of the Class of 1996. Diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis at 13 months of age, he has much experience in fundraising, as he was a Poster Child for the Southern California Arthritis Foundation for several years of his childhood. Mat was thrilled to move from Southern California to the small town of Oakhurst with his family in 1988; he was ten years old. After graduating from YHS, he moved to Berkeley, California where he worked for a Bay Area Internet Service Provider for five years.

At the end of 2001, Mathew moved back to his ‘hometown’ of Oakhurst and established his own web design business, Oakhurst Online. His first projects included a local town homepage and message forum that would provide the community with local news and information. That project has evolved to what you see now at Yosemite Area Online and Oakhurst Area Today. Local visitors and residents of our mountain communities and Yosemite National Park can get local news, events, weather, webcams, classifieds, photos and much more. The Yosemite Area has its own FREE localized social media network of websites.

In 2008, Mathew ran for Honorary Mayor on behalf of Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst. At that time, The Club was temporarily closed due to a lack of funding. Since Mat was raised in the mountain area, he knows first hand that there is not a lot to do when you are a child in a small town like Oakhurst. He recognized that the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst was a very valuable asset to the youth of our area. It was crucial to get the doors reopened for the kids as soon as possible. During his 3-month campaign in 2008, Mat raised over $22,000 for The Club. This was a huge help and doors were reopened shortly after the Honorary Mayor Campaign was completed.

It has been six years since that time and Mathew Sands was, once again, approached by the BGC Board of Directors to run on their behalf during the 2014 campaign. Without hesitation Mat accepted the challenge and began planning his second campaign. With the help of President Melanie Barker, and Board Members Eric Wood and Bob Macaulay, Mathew Sands partnered with many local businesses and musicians to provide many fundraising events.

The Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst needs the support of our community in order to remain open and provide a safe and positive place for the young boys and girls of our community. Please visit Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst website at www.bgcoakhurst.com to learn more about our local club.

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