The "Spotlight on Sweetwater" radiated during the 47th Annual Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Monday night, September 26, 2011 at the Nolan County Coliseum Annex.
The banquet opened with a meal catered and served by the Sweetwater Chuck Wagon Gang. Following the dinner portion, Jacque McCoy, Executive Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the attendees before Judge Tim Fambrough brought the invocation.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American and Texas flags were led by the Honorable Susan L. King, the State Representative of District 71. The National Anthem was then performed by the Sweetwater Municipal Band.
Outgoing Chamber President Tom Rees introduced a variety of special guests who were in attendance at the banquet. Clint Parks with the Sweetwater Jaycees also gave a brief overview on the local program.
Mr. Rees then spoke of his time as Chamber President, citing numerous organizations and businesses that the Chamber helped in the past year as well as his personal experience in serving, before introducing the new Chamber President, Rodney Foster.
Mr. Foster offered his gratitude to several people--especially his wife, before laying out his plans and expectations while serving in his presidential role for the year. He also introduced the Chamber Board members and staff as well as the newly elected General Board.
The evening's highlight, however, were the four awards presented for this year: Outstanding Young Citizen, Outstanding Female Citizen, Outstanding Male Citizen and Business of the Year.
This year's winners were Ray Cornutt, Leah Andrews, Vershell Smith and WETS (Wind Energy Turbine Systems), respectively. (Full biographies can be found in the following articles.)
The presentations were made by last year's recipients--Rodney Foster, Brenda Stirl and David Bennett with Bennett and Associates, with Paula Bagby and Jim Wilks presenting for the late Joe Bagby for Outstanding Male Citizen.
Mr. Foster ended the evening by thanking everyone for attending and encouraged everyone to consider getting more involved in local efforts.
"I know that many of you here are already involved and it is appreciated," Mr. Foster stated, "but please be a recruiter and cheerleader to get others involved."
The Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a special thank you to the Sweetwater Chuck Wagon Gang for catering and serving the delicious meal, the Sweetwater Municipal Band for providing delightful music and the Nolan County Coliseum staff for their fabulous job of setting up for the banquet.