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Chamber to host annual banquet
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The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce will host its annual banquet Feb.13 at the Lakeview Center, 2057 Dawson Forest Road East, Dawsonville.


The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour; followed by a seated dinner at 7 p.m.


A silent auction will be held throughout the evening, as well as the popular 52-card pool, where cards are sold for $20 each.


Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased from the chamber office.


With a new spin on this year’s Cowboy Ball, attendees are welcome to show up as elegant or as casual as they choose for an evening of “Diamonds and Denim.”


As the chamber’s biggest fundraiser, the banquet pays tribute to individuals and businesses that succeeded and made a difference in the community during the previous year.


All money and proceeds from the event will fund the general budget of the chamber to use for events and chamber activities that will take place throughout the year.


Jay Walker, the chamber’s 2009 chairman of the board of directors, strongly encourages people to come this year because the focus for the chamber this year is going to be on small businesses.


“This year it will be more important than ever for the chamber to support small business, and in doing so, I also call on the larger retail establishments (such as Kroger) and our larger manufacturing companies to ‘pick out your niche’ and get involved in the areas of the chamber where you are comfortable, have an interest, and yes...will have fun,” Walker said.


Walker added that considering the condition of the economy, this year will be crucial and very important to small businesses.


“I would like to encourage businesses to donate items to the silent auction in order to showcase their company,” he commented.


“It is a relatively low cost way of getting their name out there, especially those that are fairly new in town,” he added.


“We want to do what we can to help those who have small businesses thrive in difficult times,” said Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.


Awards and special recognitions will also be a part of this year’s gala.


“We’re adding a new award this year, Entrepreneur of the Year, which we added to support our work with the Entrepreneur Friendly Community Program and to recognize an entrepreneur who has achieved success in 2008,” said Williams.


Other awards that will be announced include: the Don Gordon Business Leader of the Year, which recognizes a business manager or owner of a company with 20 or more employees, the Jim Wallace Volunteer of the Year Award and the Chairman’s Award.


Ambassador of the Year Denny Putlak will also be recognized, as well as Jay Walker, who will be installed as the chamber’s 2009 chairman of the board of directors. Outgoing 2008 Chairwoman Kristie Myers will also be recognized.


To conclude the Cowboy Ball, The Birddogs will entertain with music and dancing.


“We encourage everyone to stay after the awards for the entertainment. We’re going to all have a good time,” Williams said.


For more information or to purchase tickets, call (706) 265-6278.