An unusually warm February evening set the mood for the 70th Annual Benson Chamber Banquet, held Thursday inside The Barn at Broadslab Distillery.
The mild temperatures led many to a patio area where laughter and greetings could be heard throughout the facility during the social hour. The program that followed was a thoughtful recognition of some of Benson’s best and brightest — from outstanding community volunteers to longtime pillars in local business.
Some highlights of the night included a “Benson Update” from Mayor Jerry Medlin about several upcoming projects throughout town, Town Manager Matt Zapp reprising his role as Banquet MC to great effect — keeping the audience engaged and laughing, an inspirational and impassioned speech by outgoing Chamber Board Chair Ben Cook that reminded everyone “to grow a town, you must support a town,” a rallying call for the New Year from 2019 Chamber Board Chair Mary-Michael Denning Britt, and, lastly, the long list of Civic Organization and Chamber award winners.
Public Works Director Tim Robbins, Benson Firefighter Robbie Price, and Police Captain Greg Percy were recognized as the 2018 Employee of the Year, 2018 Firefighter of the Year, and 2018 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, respectively.
2018 CIVIC ORGANIZATION AWARD WINNERS:
• Outstanding Woman – Jeanelle McCain
• Outstanding Senior Citizen – Larry Massengill
• Young Person of the Year – Charli Rosenberg
• Firefighter of the Year – Robbie Price
• Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Greg Percy
• Arts Award – Janet Wilson
• Volunteer of the Year – Beverly Allen
• Educator of the Year – Tracey Johnson
• Public Service Employee of the Year Award – Tim Robbins
• Humanitarian Award – Dennis Eason
2018 CHAMBER AWARD WINNERS:
• Ambassador of the Year – Darla Hamm
• Board of Directors Award – Jaymes Elliott
• Business Family of the Year – Colon Davis Family / BN Printing
• Large Business of the Year – First Citizens Bank / award accepted by Joshua Caro
• Small Business of the Year – Joe Parker / JP’s Pastry
• Citizen of the Year – Elaine Todd / award accepted by Rebekah Todd