By Cristin Ross

cross@jacksonvilleprogress.com

Are you ready for some laughter?

The 68th annual Rusk Chamber of Commerce banquet is at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Rusk Junior High cafetorium. The buffet dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “NFL-Night for Laughter.”

“This is always a highly anticipated event in Rusk,” Chamber Office Manager Connie Brown said. “The Chamber loves to brainstorm and come up with fun and entertaining themes every year. We encourage everyone to come out for great food, good laughs and the chance to meet and greet your neighbors.”

This year’s emcee is Rusk High School Head Coach Ted Patton. Dinner will be catered by All-star Barbecue. Dinner includes brisket and sausage, potato salad and beans, a choice of pecan or lemon pie and a beverage.

Sinclair Entertainment will provide the show.

“They’re always great,” Brown said. “And the new Chamber president has some surprises in store as well.”

Chamber President Teresa Langley will officially hand the reins over to President-elect Stoney Thompson.

Langley’s theme for 2008 was “Working Together to Make a Difference.”

“As my term comes to a close I feel I am very fortunate to have been given such a great responsibility to serve as president of the Rusk Chamber,” Langley said in a column submitted to the Daily Progress. “I Look forward to working with Stoney Thompson. I know he will do a great job.”

Thompson’s theme for the year is “Think Rusk First.” Other nominees accepting terms on the chamber board include President-elect Rachel Loden; Vice President Austin Young; Treasurer Larry Long; and executive board members Charles Horton and Kellie Wilcox.

Special awards will be presented to Chamber members and volunteers who have “gone above and beyond the call of duty in 2008,” Brown said.

Ted Debbs, the 2007 Citizen of the Year, will present the 2008 Citizen of the Year award to its recipient. The 2008 Business Man and Woman of the Year will also be honored.

A 42-inch flat screen television will also be raffled off to attendees. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

Tickets for the event are on sale now at the Rusk Chamber of Commerce. Fullback tables, which seat eight are still available for $160. Tables seat eight. Tailback tickets (for individuals) are $20 each. Call the chamber office, 903-683-4242, to purchase tickets in advance.

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