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Gala packs house
President: It reflects economic attitude
Gala pic1
State Sen. Steve Gooch administered the oaths of office Friday night to the 2011 Dawson County Chamber of Commerce officers, from left: Kathy Fuller, treasurer; Jennifer Baker, incoming chairwoman; and Stephanie Mathis, 2011 chairwoman. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

The 20th annual Dawson County Chamber of Commerce banquet was one of the most successful to date, said President Linda Williams.


The event, which is the largest fundraiser for the local business network organization, sold out Friday with 196 occupied seats.


As a result of that support, Williams said the chamber will be able to meet its 2011 budget. What’s more, the banquet’s success may also point to a new outlook on the economy.


“It seems like people are more relaxed in the economy this year,” she said. “The last couple of years, the economy has dampened people’s spirits, but there was definitely a positive feeling in the atmosphere Friday night, and everybody had a good time.”


Community leaders and volunteers were recognized for their efforts during the event. In addition, 2011 Chamber Chairwoman Stephanie Mathis discussed the state of the economy and community.


“Times have been tough,” Mathis said. “While we may not return to our old way of doing things, maybe that’s a good thing.


“I believe we are wiser, more creative and stronger as people and as business leaders.”


Those recognized during the event included Sharon Reagan, for entrepreneur of the year; the late Rev. Mark Weaver, chairman’s award; James Askew, business leader; Bill Sexton, volunteer of the year; and Angela Harben, top ambassador.


The event also featured the installation of new officers: Mathis, Jennifer Baker and Kathy Fuller.