Chamber Notes by Gary Perkins
Thursday night's rain and wind couldn't stop the great evening that was had by all those in attendance at this year's Annual Chamber Banquet held at Three Forks Harbor & Marina.
The River Center was filled almost to capacity, as supporters of the chamber came out to enjoy an evening of fun and food.
The event began with a silent auction that included an array of merchandise and gift certificates for food and services throughout the area.
Highlights included a 60" flat screen TV donated by Hamby's TV & Appliances, an evening at Cherokee Hills Resort including lodging, meals and golf — donated by Cherokee Nation, $1,000 travel certificate on Southwest Airlines donated by Doss Briggs, a whole house circuit breaker system donated by Renfro electric and lots of gift baskets, dinner certificates, services, bird houses and novelty-type items such as "Get Out of Jail Free" certificate signed by Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore.
After the welcome and introduction of our Board of Directors, an opening prayer was provided by Mark Young and members of the Cherokee National Youth Choir sang the National Anthem — in both Cherokee and English.
Dinner was a buffet provided by Fajita Rita's, which included plenty of Mexican delights and peach cobbler for dessert.
After everyone had their fill, we were once again privileged to listen to several songs from the Cherokee National Youth Choir singing in their native Cherokee under the direction of Kathy Sierra.
Our guest speaker was Cheryl Hill, who entertained us not only with a little of her personal history, but also the importance of living in Fort Gibson, it's historic significance and the many advantages that this area affords us — including the best school district in the state.
Following Cheryl's inspiring remarks, the "Teacher of the Year" awards were presented by myself and School Superintendent Derald Glover.
Sara Perry received the honor for the Early Learning Center, Rene' Cherry for Intermediate Elementary, Angie Woolbright for middle school and Melanie Wicks for both high school and District Teacher of the Year.
All received plaques and gift cards from the chamber.
Closing remarks were from Steve Woods, 2013 president, who covered some of the chamber's highlights and invited all to get involved.
It was a very enjoyable and informative evening, and I want to thank all those who came out and supported the chamber.
More importantly, those who participated in the program, helped in obtaining all the silent auction items, those who donated silent auction items, and helped in the decorating and set up — especially my better half Kathy Perkins, along with Cheryl Hill, Tonia Cooper and Denise Bain.
I also want to thank Mark Seabolt and his crew from FBTCC for his above-and-beyond efforts in securing silent auction items and delivering them to the site. Thanks to all.
We held a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting ceremony Friday morning and welcomed Derek Gawf, owner and barber at Fort Gibson Barber Shop.
Derek has been cutting hair for over 30 years and is now open for business at his shop at 402 W. Poplar St.
We welcome Derek to our community, and wish him much success. Guys — stop by and give him a try the next time you need a good haircut.
Thank you to the following individuals and businesses, that renewed their chamber membership, this past week: Garden Walk Apartments, Fort Gibson Chiropractic, Whitlock Packaging Corp, Gil Miller Roofing, McDonald's/Matthews Foods Inc, Subway of Fort Gibson, Kathy Carson-Town of Fort Gibson, Fort Gibson Barber Shop, Cherokee Nation Entertainment, Larry and Carol Corley-Granny's Porch and SonBurst Graphics.
As always, we appreciate the continuing support we receive from the community.
One last word, don't forget our Weekly Chamber Luncheon held at 11:30 a.m. each Thursday. For the month of February we are at Simple Simon's Pizza, so come join us for more fun and food.
This past week we enjoyed the company of: Lisa Clayton, Carol Milligan, Kathy Perkins, Cheryl Hill, Justin and Lauren Young, with son Westin, Tonia Cooper, Denise Bain and myself.