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Annual Hope/Hempstead County Chamber Of Commerce Banquet Held Monday Night

By Staff, 04/4/17 11:21 AM

 

HOPE CHAMBER 035

HOPE – The annual Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Banquet was held Monday night at Hempstead Hall.

Before the official opening of the banquet, attendees had the opportunity to bid on everything from gift certificates to Yeti cups in the silent auction or to schmooze with their friends, neighbors and politicians.

After the opening ceremonies, Chamber of Commerce Mitch Bobo announced a change to the program, stating that Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin would speak first, a change which may or may not have had something to do with some basketball game.

Griffin, who had earlier journeyed from table to table, asking how he could serve them, took the stage. An entertaining speaker, Mr. Griffin had the audience in stitches before he turned serious.

He began by giving out his cellphone number – 501-837-5190 – and asking to hear from the citizens. He stated that he no longer believes in town hall meetings, as there was never much of a turnout. He noted that if he doesn’t hear citizens’ concerns, he can’t address them.

The bulk of his talk was about taxes and the responsibility of using those monies as responsibly as possible. He stressed the importance of citizens backing their governmental representatives.

Bobo returned to give a short, but nice tribute to Mark Keith, former Director of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as to Novalene Slatton, who recently died after serving the Chamber for over two decades. Both their absences have left a hole in the community.

Special Awards were given to United Way donors, as well as to presenter, Donny Hughes. The current Board of the Chamber, as well as past-presidents of it were recognized.

The Educator of the Year was Karen Ivers, who was unfortunately not in attendance.

Citizen of the Year was Jay Pollan of Hope’s Unity Baptist Church. The back third of the Hall went wild when he was named, as it was filled with Unity Youth.

A “Special Announcement” held everyone’s attention as the headliner for the Watermelon Fedtival was named. This year’s artist will be Joe Diffey.

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