Thursday, November 3, 2011
Lots of activities on tap in Byhalia
By SUE WATSON
Marshall County’s delegation provided the program for the recent Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, and officials with Methodist Hospital, who are spearheading the new Olive Branch hospital to be completed in 2013, were also on the program.
The meeting was kicked off by words of gratitude from executive director Sarah Sawyer and president Leah Grant for new members, sustaining members, sponsorships, and those who support the chamber, in existence since 1988.
Sawyer said nominations are being accepted for the Leader of the Year and Best Customer Service awards, which will be celebrated November 17 at Thistledome. “Celebrate the past; create the future” will be the theme of the program.
The town is also working on planning the town parade.
Business of the Month was Brantley Funeral Home and Southern Sod Farm was drawn as Member of the Day at the luncheon.
Mayor Phil Malone welcomed members and visitors – saying what happens good in Byhalia, happens good in the county. He urged the community to think and act positively.
“For a small town, there is a lot going on in Byhalia,” he said. “Be positive.
“The Main Street Charrettes two years ago opened my eyes. It showed the town of Byhalia and area could look great and be great. Be a part of one more piece of the plan.”
Malone said the town is taking baby steps with small grants helping out and people donating their money and volunteering their time to the Brunswick area improvement – an area that is the site of many celebratory events in the town.
“You do not have to live in Byhalia to be a part of it,” he said.
He announced the lighting of the Christmas lights on December 2 at 6 p.m. and the Christmas parade set for December 10. Town hall is also having fun reminding each employee to be positive, he said.
“For every time we say something negative in our office, we get to put money in the jar. Maybe we need to up the ante,” he quipped.
Next up, Rep. Tommy Woods, who catered the event with his famous barbecue, announced the area accomplished a new milestone with the issuance of a certificate of need to Methodist Hospital to build a new hospital in Olive Branch at Hacks Cross Road and Highway 78.
“We are so excited about Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare,” he said. “We are honored to have Ed White and Bobby Baker (director, faith community partnerships).”
Baker said, “We are so excited, the labor all of you put into making this hospital possible. We thank God for your leadership.”
He said Methodist’s program is to partner with the community to raise the level of health in communities.
“We are interested in making a difference in the lives of people in the community,” he said, adding that a congregational health network is being established to focus on raising the level of health and making healthcare more accessible.
The hospital will promote links between the hospital and members of the faith community before the hospital opens, beginning now, he said.
“We will go into churches to educate, train, and partner on the congregational level and extend the walls of the hospital to the congregation,” he said.
The new hospital in Olive Branch is slated to open in the summer of 2013, he said.
Ed White, the first employee at the new hospital, will help develop a relationship between the hospital and the community.
Highway commissioner Mike Tagert spoke, after Woods noted, “He’s the man who puts the road in front of your house.”
“My message to you from the Department of Transportation is we want to be a partner with you on the county level,” Tagert said. “We recognize you have to have infrastructure and roads. That’s how we at DOT can plug into your community.”
He praised the new Byhalia Arts Council for “making a difference between a community that exists and a community with a quality of life.”
Rep. Kevin Buck expressed appreciation to Byhalia for contributing to the quality of life in his district. He also said he was glad for the news about Methodist.
“If we work together, we will have a better quality of life,” he said.
Next up was Sen. Bill Stone, happy to sponsor a chamber luncheon for the fourth time in Byhalia. He cited a friend, Lisa Stevens, who said, “You go see Sarah Faye. She’s got the best chamber of commerce in the whole state.”
Stone praised the current posture the county enjoys with two big projects situated on each side of the county - the Norfolk Southern Intermodal Yard to the north and Toyota to the south.
“Between the rail yard and Toyota, we are going to be sitting in the right place,” he said.
Woods urged everyone to go vote November 8 for their candidates of choice. He said the Declaration of Independence passed by one vote because because a sick man rode 80 miles, all night long, to vote on the matter.
“His vote is the vote that passed it,” Woods said. “It’s our God-given right to vote.”
Rev. Stuart Swicegood of Byhalia First Baptist Church announced that First Baptist will participate in Operation Christmas Child. Shoe boxes with items for third-world children can be dropped off at the church.
Calendar of events
“Celebrate the past. Create the future.” Thistledome Inn, Highway 309 South, Byhalia, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Entertainment provided by the Byhalia Arts Council – Davide House Band; songwriter/musician Meredith Koch; saxophonist Glynn Faulkner; skits by Byhalia Elementary and Middle School. Local artisan exhibits. Call 662-838-8127 for reservations or email email@example.com
Brunswick Park, 6:30 p.m. Visit with Santa and enjoy display.
Craw de Lis restaurant. Contact Paul Summers, 901-489-1120, for details.
December 10 – “Byhalia Believes” Christmas Parade
Begins at 6 p.m. Contact Angie Clayton, 662-838-2135, to enter parade.
December 15 Holiday
Residential and business categories sponsored by Byhalia Garden Club and Byhalia Beautiful.
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