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Chamber banquet slated for Feb. 7

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Plans for the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's 62nd annual banquet are underway with a special treat for those in attendance.
"We are very pleased that we've been able to get the VOICES of Mobile to be at the banquet," Chamber executive director Emilie Mims said. "They are a group with the University of Mobile and they have recently been at the White House. Everyone who has heard them has said they are just wonderful. We are very excited about the VOICES of Mobile."
Mims said for many past years there have been guest speakers including individuals with the governor's office and even Gov. Bob Riley himself at the event. Last year's guest speaker was Jim Hayes, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. And, although the guest speakers are informational, the Chamber felt it was time to do something a little bit different.
"We felt like it was time to have something more fun and entertaining," Mims said. "The VOICES of Mobile are a Christian group so the selection of music will be Christian and gospel-based."
The Chamber's Citizen of the Year Award winner and the Lifetime Achievement Award winner will be announced at the banquet.
"We are still asking people to consider nominating someone," Mims said.
The deadline for turning in nominations to the Chamber for the two awards is Jan. 18.
At the banquet, the reign as Chamber president will pass from Nancy Helton to Allen Walston, who works at Alfa Insurance.
"Although Allen Walston will take the helm of the Chamber tomorrow morning at the first meeting of the year, the banquet is somewhat of a ceremonial changing," Mims said Tuesday afternoon.
First National Bank and Trust will be honored at the banquet as well.
"This year we will be honoring First National Bank and Trust who have generously agreed to the 2008 corporate partnership," Mims said.
This is the third year the Chamber has had a corporate partner. The partnership was born out of the need for additional operational revenue, according to Mims.
The banquet will be held Feb. 7 at the Atmore Area YMCA &Community Center at 6:30 p.m. No caterer has been scheduled for the event. The cost is $22 for members and $26 for non-members.
Mims said she hopes the banquet turns out to be a spectacular night for those in attendance.
"We are working on the details," she said. "But we expect it to be a great event."