Piggott Chamber Banquet Held

Thursday, October 24, 2013
A large crowd was on hand for the annual Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce banquet, held Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual dinner meeting and banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with a large crowd on hand for the occasion. This year's theme for the banquet, and the related table decorating contest, was "Strut Your Stuff."

This year's banquet also included an awards ceremony, as the local chamber recognized businesses, individuals, organizations and other entities. The awards were a new addition to this year's event, and served to honor excellence in business and community activism.

The banquet opened as Chamber President Brian Haley offered a word of welcome, and the invocation. Haley then introduced Mayor Gerald Morris, who in turn introduced local dignitaries and special guests.

Those recognized included State Senator Robert Thompson, State Representative Joe Jett, Sue McGowan of the Paragould/Greene County Chamber of Commerce and Clay County's elected officials. Morris also took a moment to offer recognition to James L. Magee, of Piggott Community Hospital, as he was the recipient of a statewide award from the Arkansas Hospital Association.

Jett also took advantage of the opportunity to recognize Magee, and presented him with a citation from the Arkansas Legislature.

During his comments, Morris also singled-out longtime local doctor Hillard Duckworth and complimented him for nearly 60 years of service to the medical profession and the community.

Following the meal, which was catered by Hog Wild BBQ and Catering, Haley and Chamber of Commerce Vice President Johnna Redman handed out a variety of awards.

The first awards to be presented were the winners of the annual table decorating contest, which featured over 20 entries. This year the judges chose the entry by the Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum for the "Most Elegant" award. Meanwhile, the judge's favorite for the "Wow" factor went to the entry by the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center. And, taking home honors for "Most Creative" and the "Visitor's Choice" award was the entry by Sugar Creek Kids.

Next, the special awards were handed out for 2013. There were several categories, with the winners chosen by ballots completed by chamber members earlier in the fall.

The first award was the "A Taste of Piggott" award, which was given to Hog Wild BBQ and Catering and owners Jeremi and Erica Wicker. Next was the "Beautification" award, which this year went to Chuck Schulte and family.

Recognized as the "Organization of the Year" was Piggott Community Sharing Hearts, Inc., with board member Paula O. Blackwell on hand to make the acceptance.

Chosen as the "Outstanding Educator of the Year" was PES teacher and Piggott native Laura French. Meanwhile, Jeremi Wicker of the Piggott Police Department was recognized with the "Outstanding Emergency Personnel of the Year" award.

This year's "Outstanding Farmer of the Year" was bestowed on the Nick Yount family farm from Pollard, also the 2013 Clay County and Northeast Arkansas Farm Family of the Year. Nick Yount was on hand to accept the award, along with his wife Deanne and son Luke.

The Chamber of Commerce also handed out a "Service With a Smile" award for outstanding customer service by a local business. This year's honor went to Feather Your Nest, with owners Nancy Shanklin and John James on hand to accept.

The "Volunteer of the Year" award was also handed out, and this year's recipient is former chamber secretary Sharon Bellers for her efforts with the "Flower Buddies" program.

Meanwhile, Molly Williams was recipient of the "Youth of the Year" award for her many charitable efforts. Molly, a student at PES, is the daughter of Shannon and Travis Williams.

And, the winner of this year's "You Made it Happen" award was former State Representative Mike Patterson of Piggott, in recognition of his efforts to help promote local economic growth.

The awards portion of the evening concluded with the presentation of certificates to those businesses holding bronze or gold memberships.

Recognized as bronze award members were Absolute Care Management, Aerial Bouquets, Centurylink, Glen Sain Motors, L.A. Darling, McDonalds of Piggott and Piggott Community Hospital.

And, those recognized with gold corporate memberships were First National Bank of Piggott, Helena Chemical of Piggott and Piggott State Bank.

Bronze corporate memberships are available for $250 annual dues, while gold corporate memberships are available for a minimum of $1,000. There is also a silver corporate membership available for $500 in annual dues.

Business memberships are available for $65 with one person listed as a member, and additional persons from the same business may be listed for an additional $10 each. Individual memberships, for those with no business affiliation, are available for $25. And, retired individuals age 65 or older may join for a $10 membership fee.

Those wanting more information on the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce may contact them at 870 598-3167.

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