Cold winter winds blew last night but it was nice and tropical inside the Mt. Pleasant Country Club where the 72nd annual Chamber Banquet’s theme was “Welcome to Paradise.” Attendees enjoyed a nice dinner while the Chamber honored their outgoing board members Troy Spence and Kathy Nellor and welcome new board members Lori White, Terry Smith and Tim Mansfield. They also announced the new officers for 2013 as well as new and outgoing ambassadors.
Kathy Nellor stepped down as President, handing the gavel to new president Mark Petty. She expressed pleasure in the Chamber in its expansion, which she likened to the Washington Street reconstruction, saying that though progress may seem slow at times, real changes are happening and the Chamber is continuing to grow and better serve its citizens. But Nellor is not done with the Chamber as she wrote a check to become the 306th Chamber member.
Other award winners were: for the expansion award: owners for Mt. Pleasant Electric Contractors and Main Street Cinemas. Business plan competition winners were also recognized for Francy Precision, Ray’s Specialty Meats and Maid-Rite. The annual auction raised over $7000 for the Chamber. Receiving the Volunteer of the Year for 2012 was outgoing President Kathy Nellor who was described as going above and beyond expected duties and being a natural leader.
The final and most prestigious winner of the evening was Citizen, or this year: Citizens of the Year. The honor went to Jim and Marlene Depriest. They have played an integral part for music in the county involved in church, school and theater productions and helping to shape children to become good, honorable citizens. Kiley Miller said it best when he said their influence can’t be measured as they work with our most important asset: our children. Or maybe Marlene said it best when she said this was a rare moment when Jim didn’t have much to say as he was so surprised. There to help celebrate in the special moment were their children and Jim’s 92 year old father. Jim did say that it was really a team effort and he was proud to support the hundreds who help to make everything happen and was very honored. Congratulations to the very deserving couple.