Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 14, 2013

Rusk Chamber prepares for 72nd annual banquet

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

RUSK —  Over 200 guests are expected to attend the Rusk Chamber of Commerce's 72nd annual banquet on Sat., Jan. 26.

The banquet starts 6 p.m. at the Rusk Civic Center, 555 Euclid Street and is expected to run at least two hours.

This year's theme: Mexican Fiesta," was selected by outgoing 2012 Chamber President Toni Meador, whose post will be passed on to 2013 President-elect Steve Winfield, explained Bob Goldsberry, executive director of the Rusk Chamber of Commerce.

"Every year the outgoing president has the opportunity to name their own banquet — it's just the theme that is different," he said. "Last year, we had the 'Biker Ball' and the year before that it was the 'Time Machine.' It just depends on what the outgoing president wants to do. Next year, Steve will pick the theme."

Chamber members are currently trying to round up entertainment for the event, which is expected to include a Mariachi band and a few skits.

Expect to be dazzled by bright colors during the dinner, which culminates with  awards for the 2012 Citizen of the Year, 2012 Business of the Year, 2012 Business Woman,  and 2012 Business Man. The identities of the recipients will remain secret until they are announced.

As part of the event, the chamber is hosting a few raffles.

Connie Parsons, office manager said one such "you must be present to claim the prize" raffle involves drawing for several pinatas.

"Inside the pinatas there could be $300, $200 or just some gifts," Parsons said. "Everyone whose name gets drawn will win something. No one goes away empty handed. It's $1 a ticket for this raffle, 25 raffle tickets for $20, or, for $25, you could stretch your arms as wide as they can go and claim as many tickets that would fit in that space. The wider you can spread, the more tickets you can get."

She said there also is the "$1,000 Giveaway." Customers do not have to be at the banquet to claim this prize. Tickets are $1 each or 25 for $25 and can be purchased at the chamber office or at Jacksonville's Austin Bank, Texas National Bank, Prosperity Bank, or Citizens First Bank.

For additional information about the Annual Banquet, membership benefits or events, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at (903) 683-4242, visit the website at www.RuskChamber.com or become friends on Facebook.