Piggott Chamber of Commerce Banquet Held

Thursday, October 22, 2015
There was a tie for this year's "You Made it Happen" award, presented at the annual Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce banquet. Chamber vice president Brian Schulte (left) recognized the co-recipients, which included the Piggott Farmer's Market, represented by Kenna Timmons (right) and Tracy and Joe Cole (center). (TD photo/Tim Blair)

A large crowd was on hand for the annual Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce banquet and dinner meeting, held Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Piggott Community Center. This year's theme was "Promote Your Business" which proved very popular for the traditional table decorating contest. During the evening the chamber also handed out a variety of awards to local businesses and individuals, and President Shawn Parker gave his annual address to the membership. Those on hand also enjoyed the catered meal, served by Hog Wild BBQ.

After a brief welcome to those on hand, Vice President Brian Schulte introduced Mayor Jim Poole who had the privilege of introducing the elected officials and visiting dignitaries. Poole then updated the crowd on a new chamber project involving historic photos.

On display was a large copy of an historic image from Piggott's history, as the local militia was boarding trains in June of 1916 in response to the start of the Mexican insurgency. The chamber had the photo enlarged, and printed on a weather proof material, and the image will be displayed on the side of the depot building which houses their offices. The same depot pictured in the nearly 100-year-old photo.

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party group from Madpie's took home both the "Wow" Factor and People's Choice awards in the table decorating contest at the chamber banquet.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

"We hope others will come forward with historic photos and we can develop a series of them," Poole offered. "They will be displayed at different spots around town, and businesses can participate, too."

Parker also offered the president's update, as he reviewed efforts of the chamber membership in the past year. He also offered a "pep talk" to those on hand, noting the community must stay abreast of the times to remain viable. "Change is not always easy, but sometimes necessary," he added of the challenges of the future.

Later, he was assisted by Schulte in handing out the annual awards and recognizing corporate sponsors.

Gold members this year include First National Bank, Piggott Banking Center, and Piggott State Bank. Bronze members include Aerial Bouquets, Glen Sain Motors, Hunton Office Supply, MFA MidSouth Agri Services, NewWave Communications and Piggott Community Hospital.

The various award winners, which were voted on by the chamber members, were then recognized. This year there were a number of ties, in which case both were honored.

There were two winners in the "You Made It Happen" award as both the Piggott Farmer's Market and Joe and Tracy Cole were recognized. Accepting on behalf of the Farmer's Market was local organizer Kenna Timmons.

Recipients of the "Service With a Smile" award were Kevin and Julia Jones on behalf of Jones Furniture. Parker also applauded the Jones', who were responsible for the recent "shop local" campaign in downtown Piggott.

Honored as this year's "Outstanding Educator" was Andrea Coomer, a teacher at the Piggott ABC School.

There was a tie for "Farmer of the Year" with two families sharing the recognition. Chosen this year were Brock and Fallon Russell, along with the family farming operation of Terry and Judy Cox and Kyle and Christina Cox.

Two local workers also shared the "Emergency Personnel of the Year" award, with the honor going to Amy Gibson, with the Piggott Community Hospital EMS Department, and Josh Winscott, one of the newest members of the Piggott Fire Department.

The honor of "Volunteer of the Year" was also shared by two local men, as Monte Howell and Billy Joe Seal were recognized. Howell returned moments later to accept the "Organization of the Year" award on behalf of the local Lions Club.

The chamber members also split on this year's "Youth of the Year" award and the honor was shared by PHS student Noah Gregory and PES student Dayton Gilkison.

Earning this year's "Taste of Piggott" award was Madpie's Tea Room, with Patty and Maddie McHaffey accepting the honor.

Meanwhile, Joe and Tracy Cole were recognized once again to close out the awards ceremony, as the Inn at Piggott was recipient of this year's "Beautification" award.

Parker and Schulte then handed out the honors to the winners in this year's table decorating contest. The "Most Elegant" award went to the City of Piggott's table; this year's "Most Creative" was the table decorated and occupied by the staff of the Piggott Casey's General Store; the winner of the "Wow Factor" was the creative entry by Madpie's and they also backed that up by winning the "Visitor's Choice" award.

The Madpie's entry was created to replicate the Mad Hatter's tea party from Alice in Wonderland, and included the appropriate costumes for those occupying the table.

After handing out the awards Parker announced bidding had ended on the silent auction, and those posting the winning bids paid for their items. This year's auction was a big success, with a variety of donated items from businesses and individuals.

Those interested in becoming a member of the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce, or those wanting additional information on the photo/mural program, may contact Secretary Jan Glover at 870 598-3167.

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