Chamber celebrates holiday with luncheon at the Rec Center

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

By Karen Hall


The Chamber of Commerce celebrated the Fourth of July with a luncheon at the Rec Center on Friday last week.

The program was similar to previous years, with the highlights being the introduction of Miss Marshall County contestants and the announcement and presentation of the Outstanding Citizen Award.

World War II veteran Edwin Scott led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Wayne Coomes offered a prayer for the nation, and also gave a short speech.

"Remember our veterans, and recall their actions were good," he said. "They provided courage when their country needed them most. They're not victims, they're your warriors. Veterans should never be anything but praised."

He reminded listeners that freedom is not free. It has a price, the lives of our youth, and comes with the risk of failure.

"Let us not forget those we lost in our investment for freedom," Coomes said. "The family pays a great price for their loved ones to serve."

Next, Chamber of Commerce President Vicki Cain introduced Mike Keny, who will be Master of Ceremonies at the Miss Marshall County Pageant, to be held in the auditorium at Lewisburg Middle School on July 4.

"This is about the only gig I've got left," said Keny, who recently sold H & S Pharmacy, and is not running for re-election to the school board.

He introduced Pageant Director Courtney Boatright and the 2013 Miss Marshall County, Jennifer Perry, who has had a great year representing the county and the Chamber, and will be getting married before the end of July.

This will be the 59th Miss Marshall County pageant. The first Miss Marshall County, in 1954, was Lois Purcell.

"It's going to be a big night -- a great night," said Keny as he called this year's contestants to the stage to introduce themselves to the group.

"He's a great guy," said Cain, about Keny. "He knows what he's doing."

She also praised her Chamber board, and listed some of the year's achievements. The Chamber has received a two-year grant from Athena Broadband for free Internet Service. There were 30 vendors at the Business Expo, which will be at Columbia State next year. The Chamber has passed out 2,000 pieces of information, and answered 1,620 calls. They are working on a "virtual mall" for Chamber members on the website. In the coming year, Cain said, the Chamber plans to continue Lunch and Learn, and Networking Breakfasts, as well as Chamber Coffees and Ribbon Cuttings at new businesses.

Cain noted this will be the Chamber's 60th year of Fourth of July celebrations.