story and photos by Helen LeGrand, special to The City Wire
Greenwood’s Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet at the High School Student Union Tuesday night (Oct. 16).
More than 200 attendants filled the union, taking part in a silent auction and an hors d'oeuvres buffet provided by the Greenwood Walmart. The “Red, White, and Blue,” theme was enthusiastically observed by the guests who readily dressed the part. The silent auction had many items in razorback red, which comes as no surprise when in the hometown of Tyler Wilson.
President of the Chamber of Commerce and former Citizen of the Year (2010) Randy Davis mingled with the crowd before taking to the podium to welcome everyone. Davis announced the board members for 2012, both new and reenlisted, and then thanked the volunteers involved with the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. Director Doris Tate, Office Manager Wanda Kindberg and Banquet Chairwoman Teri Hicks were given bouquets as a token of appreciation for their efforts with the chamber. Davis also recognized the many corporate table sponsors which included the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and Farmers Bank.
“You can’t have a Chamber of Commerce without volunteers,” said Tate as she took the podium and introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Sherry Middleton.
Middleton is the director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Community Service & Nonprofit Support, and a strong believer in the power of volunteerism. She shared her philosophy that volunteering has three impacts: The impact on those being served, the impact on the volunteer’s self, and the impact of inspiring others to serve.
Middleton said volunteers are present in the community ranging from programs that feed the hungry, to the volunteer firefighters of Arkansas, to campaign volunteers – and that it is the spirit of helping one another that has defined Arkansas since the barn raising days.
“It’s not about a paycheck, it’s about making a difference,” said Middleton.
The live auction followed Middleton’s speech. Golf Clubs were donated by Walmart on Zero St, car detailing by Shelter Insurance, a fishing retreat at Lake Fort Texas went for $350, and smoked brisket and pork loin for 24 was donated by BancorpSouth. However, the item that got the room the most excited was an autographed photo of Tyler Wilson donated by Rozanne and Mark Sterling that went for $275.
Davis then presented a plaque to former Chamber President A.C. Brown.
“He planted the seed that allowed us to grow,” said Davis of Brown.
Tate also presented Davis with a plaque recognizing him for taking the role as chamber president.
Following the plaque dedication, Davis presented Cinda Bell, president of the Bell Park Foundation, with a $1.500 check from the chamber. Bell and Dr. Sandy Johnson, chairwoman of fundraising, presented Davis with a plaque recognizing the chamber as a Crystal Bell Contributor. Farmers Bank and Johnson Dermatology also received plaques recognizing them as Crystal Bell Contributors. Crystal Bell Contributors are distinguished by having made a donation of $10,000 or more to the Bell Park Foundation.
The Chamber traditionally announces a Citizen of the Year at the annual banquet. This year Theresa Burtchett received the award. Burtchett spoke of her many years with the city of Greenwood and how the people of the growing city often reminded her of what it is to be a community that strives to help one another.
“I really appreciate Greenwood for that,” said Burchett.