Thursday, April 9, 2009
Chamber hands out awards
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce hosted an evening of celebration and recognition March 31 at the Oak Palace.
About 150 tickets were sold and everyone had a good time at the gala, according to executive director Amy Heaton.
“We wanted to have an evening where we honor our members,” she said at the celebration. “In our eyes, every one of you is a winner.”
The membership selected individuals and businesses for special honors and presented plaques of appreciation to the fire, police and sheriff’s departments.
Heaton said the award winners were selected by a vote of 70 percent of the membership after a call for nominations was sent out to the entire membership.
Lisa Liddy was the favorite for the Community Champion award. Other nominees were George Kahrs, Connie Mason, Carol Person and George Poteet.
Booker Hardware Cutlery received the Small Business of the Year award. Accepting the award for the downtown Holly Springs business was Jonathan Moore. Nominees in this category also included American Pacific Paneling, Holly Springs Motor Sports, Marshall Industries and Marshall County Historical Museum.
The Large Business of the Year honor went to Contract Fabricators with CEO Boyce Delashmit accepting the plaque for the industry. Others nominated were GEO/Marshall County Correctional Facility, Parker-Hannifin, Trinity Mission and Alliance HealthCare System.
Two business partners, Betty Burch and Irene Strickland, with Jennie’s Flowers & Gifts, were named Businesswomen of the Year. Other nominees were Sheran Brown with KFC and Fannie Lampley with ICS Head Start.
The Businessman of the Year award went to C.F. Brittenum Jr., owner of Brittenum’s Funeral Home. Al Singh, owner of Goodfella’s and several other businesses, and Dr. Kenneth Williams, with Alliance HealthCare System were the other nominees.
The chamber also selected an individual to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor, given posthumously to Dr. W.A. McMillan, former president of Rust College, was determined by committee.
Don McDuffy, chamber vice president, said McMillan was a mentor who he greatly respected.
“He had an abundance of energy and enthusiasm,” McDuffy said. “He was all about service to this community, this state and this nation. He was one of Holly Springs’ shining stars.”
McMillan’s daughter, Dr. Paula McMillan Jones, and his granddaughter, Lauren Jones, proudly accepted the award.
“He traveled all over the world, but he deeply loved Holly Springs, the garden spot of the world,” Dr. Paula McMillan Jones said.
Chamber president Lynn Pullen praised the dedication of the board of directors, the membership and volunteers who collectively helped make the gala a resounding success.
“As you can see, everybody is dedicated and they do what it takes,” she said, proudly.
She captioned some of the attributes that make chamber members successful, including “standing up and taking action.”
“We are celebrating enthusiasm, commitment and sheer hard work. The awards went to the winners who would not take no for an answer or say I can’t.”
In comments, Holly Springs Mayor Andre’ DeBerry called small businesses “the life-blood of the community.”
“This is more than a slogan; it is the truth,” he said.
Prior to the awards being handed out, Heaton praised the many individuals who gave of themselves to prepare for the chamber’s gala. Appreciation went to John Paul Carpenter for providing Oak Palace rent-free for the evening, Irene Strickland and Betty Burch, Pam Burleson and members of the Marshall Academy Key Club for putting up the decorations, the business sponsors (City of Holly Springs, Holly Springs Tourism Bureau, A2Z Sign & Print Shoppe, Bank of Holly Springs, McDonald’s and McDuffy Enterprises, First State Bank, Oak Palace and the VFW Service Station.
“The chamber considers this gala very successful and I am tremendously pleased with the participation,” Heaton said. “Each member of the chamber shows their dedication to Holly Springs, and we appreciate them all.
“I can think of a unique reason for each member to deserve an award. I was very pleased with the turnout, the crowd, and how they showed their support for each other and how they enjoyed each other’s company.”
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