May 9, 2007 Edition

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Chamber honors county's top grads

By Debbie Smith
Guest Writer

When Clay Sloan was elected president of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, one of his first tasks was to assign each Chamber Board member to a committee.

He asked me to chair the Membership Committee. One of that committee's responsibilities is to keep the county community informed about the Chamber's goals and activities and how the Chamber is involved in our county.

That is what Karen Williams, Junior Briner, Brett Cooper and Bill Wilcoxson did when they wrote the articles that have recently appeared in The TD.

Now that it's my turn, I'm having a hard time coming up with anything that hasn't been said extremely well already.

The Lawrence County Chamber is a membership organization open to anybody and the board is made up of volunteers who are elected from the membership. Board members, most of whom are business people, genuinely care about their community and want to make it a better place for themselves and their families and other county residents.

I'm going to leave it to Clay to give you a more detailed look at the Chamber Board and committees' makeup in a later article. So, my focus today is about an event the Chamber has sponsored for the last two years that might go unnoticed if one isn't personally involved in it.

That event is the Lawrence County honor graduate reception, which honors the valedictorians and salutatorians of our county schools. The honor graduates and their families are invited to attend, along with community leaders, business people and educators.

Each graduate is recognized and is presented a small gift and a framed certificate from the Chamber. When Karen Williams first approached the board about hosting a reception in 2006, her vision was to create goodwill between the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the community.

She said, "We want the graduates and their families to know the Chamber is here and supports them and would like the students to stay in the community."

She and Sherry Moore, both members of the Chamber Board, did a great job organizing the reception with the help of other Chamber members. Brett Cooper spoke to the graduates and encouraged them to continue their education and then come back to Lawrence County to live and work and give back to the county in which they were raised.

I was so proud of each honor graduate. They were all courteous, well-mannered and appreciative of the effort the Chamber made to honor them, and they represented their schools well.

This reception is one of the things the Lawrence County Chamber does to be involved in our community, and we are proud to be able to host such an event.

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