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Chamber of Commerce holds 47th Annual Chamber Banquet Print E-mail
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

The 47th Annual Bamberg County Chamber of Commerce Banquet was held on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 6:00pm in the cafeteria at Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School. The theme for this year’s banquet was “Looking back, but moving forward.” During the presentation of awards ceremony long- serving Bamberg County Red Cross Coordinator and World War II veteran Harvey Kling was named the 2012 Waddy Thompson Bamberg County Citizen of the Year.

Kling is credited with revitalizing the Bamberg County Chapter of the Red Cross which before he became involved was down to only two members and was about to lose its charter. Now the organization is thriving in Bamberg County with over 22 board members, a number of volunteers and two Junior Red Cross Chapters in the county’s two public high schools. It was noted that Kling became involved with the Red Cross because of the support the organization gave him during World War II. Also nominated for the Waddy Thompson Citizen of the Year were Dr. Danette McAlhaney of Bamberg and Willie B. Caldwell Jr. of Denmark.

Also during the awards presentation, Govan Mayor Johnny Ganus was presented with the Evelyn McMillan Chamber Volunteer Award. Bamberg County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jerry Bell accepted the award in Ganus’ absence. Southern Carolina Alliance Vice President of Marketing Kay Maxwell was presented with the 2012 Emma Ruth Dowling Unity Award.

This year’s banquet did not have a quest speaker like in previous years but featured a number of citizens from around the county talking about how things were when they were growing up. In the “Looking Back” segment of the program Sondra Black talked about how life was growing up in Ehrhardt. Denmark Mayor Gerald Wright and former mayor Sam Neeley talked about business, education and commerce in Denmark in the 1950s and 1960s. Businesswoman Willie Cam Nimmons talked about life in the Colston Community, Olar and Govan during the depression era and later. Billy Thomas and Frances Johnson told of their experiences growing up in the city of Bamberg in the 50s and 60s. In the “Moving Forward” segment of the program Jason Tomlinson of Strategic Capital Solutions talked about the $40,000 grant Bamberg County was awarded to provide technical assistance to new and existing businesses. Bamberg School District One Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting spoke about the renovations and construction projects the district has experienced over the last couple of years.

“Schwarting noted the importance of building for the future, with “children as our greatest resources.”

 
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