At the Stamford Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet on Thursday, March 23, Stamford was not only celebrated but also inspired. The theme for the banquet, “Bloom Where You’re Planted,” was evident from the décor to the keynote speaker.

Each table was adorned with planter boxes and mason jars full of bright flowers. The keynote speaker, sponsored by Stamford Healthcare System, Michael Daggs shared an inspirational message packed with enthusiasm about how everyone in the community can create positive change in Stamford.

“The Chamber is excited to help Stamford to bloom where we are planted this year,” Caitlin Richards, executive director of the Chamber said. “We wanted everything about the banquet to show our enthusiasm towards that goal and inspire the community to join us.”

Photo by Stamford Star

Stamford was also celebrated through the awards portion of the banquet. The 2017 Outstanding Senior Boy, Eurtis Downs, and 2017 Outstanding Senior Girl, Taylor Beeson, were both recognized for their outstanding representation of Stamford with a $50 Walmart gift card generously donated by Walmart.

Photo by Stamford Star

The 2017 Citizen of the Year, Glenda Standifer, was recognized for her service to the Stamford community through her years in Jones County healthcare systems and volunteering in the community with her church, the Diversified Citizens Community Organization and the Stamford Carnegie Library.

Photo by Stamford Star

The 2017 Business of the Year, Stamford Healthcare System, was recognized for their commitment to keep healthcare in Stamford despite difficulties in the past. They continue to be one of the largest employers in Stamford and are dedicated to making Stamford a better community through their many services and partnerships.

The 2017 – 2018 Chamber Board of Directors President, Sherrie Raughton from Farmers Insurance, also recognized this year’s board of directors. They are: Keith Gilbreath from Walmart, Jamie Jordan as an individual member, Cary McClintcok from Big Country Electric Cooperative, Johnna Page from Stamford Healthcare System, Patsy Richards from Stamford Healthcare System, Callie Smith from the Stamford American, Michael Steele from Walmart and Lucy Wedeking from the Stamford Carnegie Library.

The Chamber would also like to say a special thank you to Big Country Electric Cooperative for setting up the tables for the event and to Farmers Insurance for donating several hanging baskets as door prizes.

“Powered by the board’s enthusiasm, this year’s banquet was a great way for the Chamber to kick off our vision for this year,” Richards said. “We hope everyone who joined us felt our enthusiasm and was inspired by our keynote speaker’s words – to look for opportunities to get us where we have never been before.”