Thursday, November 18, 2010
Chamber hands out awards
By SUE WATSON
The Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its successful year at the elegant galleries of BardenStone. Taking the coveted Leader of the Year award was Bob Carrington, a long-time member of the board of aldermen and the chamber.
His nominating letter was read by mayor Phil Malone.
A modest Carrington was very moved by the recognition of the impact of his leadership in the community for giving a lifetime of service.
“I appreciate this, the chamber giving me this award,” he said. “I am a Byhalian and I plan on dying here in Byhalia. I’m going to be buried on that hill.
“We worked very hard. A lot of people come up to me and say, y’all got it going on down there in Byhalia. We’ve all worked together and we’ve pulled together and that’s what it is all about.”
Carrington related a favorite anecdote he tells about chamber executive director Sarah Sawyer – “I tell Sarah she doesn’t know how to politic. And she doesn’t. I took her to Memphis to a fund-raiser for Trent Lott and I said, this is how you have to do it.
“That guy raised $50,000 in one night and that’s what we have to do in Byhalia.”
Sawyer remarked: “I’ll never be a politician.”
The Board Member of the Year award went to Mary Peebles, administrator of the Trinity Mission Health and Rehab of Great Oaks. The Customer Service Award was given to the Holly Springs Tourism Bureau.
In recapping the importance of service to the chamber and the community, Sawyer said, “People tend to think things and events just happen. They don’t, because it takes a lot of planning, delegating, volunteers and resources to make things happen. I feel like this year there are going to be challenges in all aspects of the chamber, knowing the mission to improve the Byhalia area and Marshall County.
“We have to work harder because our businesses are having to work harder.”
Faye Woods encouraged everyone to become involved in the Byhalia Arts Council.
“We are all very excited about the new Byhalia Arts Council,” she said. “We have a full schedule for the coming year and are starting with a relationship with the Byhalia High School. We are accepting members now.”
December 3, the second annual Byhalia Christmas Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade will be held. To enter the parade, call 662-838-2135. Festivities start at 6:30 p.m.
Chamber president Pam Thomas shared her love for the community at the luncheon.
“Sarah said I’m a blessing to her, but I want you to know Byhalia is a blessing to me,” Thomas said.
From Texas before moving to Byhalia to work with WESCO Distribution Center, Thomas said her husband promised her if she would come to Byhalia and stay two years, and she didn’t like it, they could move back to Texas.
“I haven’t been back to Texas in five years,” she said.Photo by Sue Watson
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