Chamber holds 91st banquet

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 6, 2007

DEMOPOLIS&045; It is rare to find a large gathering in a community celebrating the works of an organization promoting the economic welfare of an area and the individuals that sacrifice time and efforts for the many.

But that is what occurred as the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce held its 91st Annual Meeting and Dinner yesterday at the Demopolis Civic Center. The event is one of the biggest functions for the chamber and its members each year.

Chamber President Kelley Smith said the event draws the majority of the chamber’s members. She said it is a forum to showcase the efforts of the chamber over the previous year, as well as a venue to recognize outgoing and incoming members of the chamber board.

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The chamber also recognized the efforts of individuals and organizations, which have helped the chamber in its endeavors over the previous year. Plaques were presented to chamber members, Jim Parr and Jack Cooley, and Demopolis Civitan Club President Ray Saliba, who were crucial in organizing and directing the various functions hosted by the chamber.

University of West Alabama (UWA) President Dr. Richard D. Holland presented a speech to the amassed crowd expounding on challenges and adversities the Black Belt will face as it strives to reach its immense potential.

The chamber uses the banquet to present businesses and individuals in the community with awards for their efforts in humanitarian and volunteer services. The chamber presented awards in six categories during the meeting yesterday.

The categories presented were the community volunteer, which was awarded to Lindsy Gardner; the Chamber Volunteer of the Year, awarded to Charles Singleton; Business Volunteer of the Year award, recipient Unicel; Business of the Year, awarded to

Alabama Power’s Greene County Steam Plant; Citizen of the Year, awarded to Frank Osborne and the Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded to Dr. Wesley Hill.