By: Victoria Kemper, Democrat News
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet, held Sept.14 at Victoria Vineyards, transported guests to the Wild West as they gathered in their finest western attire. The theme for this year’s event was a resounding success as table sponsors spared no effort to bring the western spirit to life.
Madison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tessa Rehkop thanked everyone for attending and said she is happy to see all the growth the community has seen this past year.
“We have a lot of businesses coming in, and I had a ton of people contacting the chamber, asking about rental space downtown,” Rehkop said. “So, I think we’re really going to start seeing a lot more downtown. We already are.”
Following dinner, the Madison County Chamber of Commerce presented awards to individuals and businesses which have made significant contributions to the community.
Beth Simmons, MCCC Board Member and Marketing Manager at Madison Memorial Hospital, had the honor of presenting the “Live” award to Fredericktown Police Chief Eric Hovis, recognizing his outstanding contributions toward making Madison County a great place to live. Simmons remarked, “I think we all feel a little safer, knowing that he lives here and protects us.”
The “Work” award was presented by Gary Turner, MCCC Board Member, and owner of The Depot Cafe, who thanked Black River Electric Cooperative for its exceptional commitment to the community.
Jane Parker, MCCC Board Member bestowed the “Play” award upon Sawyer’s Landing, acknowledging its invaluable role in providing both delicious food and a place for leisure activities. Rehkop also revealed the upcoming opening of a treehouse at Sawyer’s Landing, further enhancing the recreational offerings in the area.
The “Service” award was presented to the Blackcat Community Partnership by MCCC Board Member and Owner of Living the Dream Realty Lance Cureton, recognizing the partnership’s efforts in unifying community resources to serve families and students.
The coveted table decorating prize was awarded in a tie between The Depot Cafe and the Fredericktown R-I School District, marking the perfect culmination of a night filled with camaraderie and community spirit.
Before the night concluded with line dancing and networking, the award for best dressed guy and gal was awarded to Craig Mills of Melvin Mills Roofing and Tori Kemper with the Democrat News. Mills came dressed in a poncho and oversized sombrero while Kemper came as western Barbie.
Attendees all went home with their place setting and one lucky winner at each table was awarded the centerpiece.
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet not only celebrated the spirit of the Wild West but also showcased the community’s commitment to making Madison County an even greater place to live, work, and play.