The Valdosta Daily Times
Thursday night in the Cook Middle School Dining Hall, the Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce held their 55th Annual Membership Dinner. Guests enjoyed a steak dinner provided by Cook County Nutrition Services with Terry Arnold serving as grill master for the evening.
Before beginning the awards portion of the evening, President and CEO of the Adel-Cook County Chamber, Jerry Connell, took to the podium to discuss the future of the Sowega building in downtown Adel. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Connell stressed the importance of this historic building and what it means to Cook County. “It is the crown jewel of Downtown Adel,” stated Connell. “We need to preserve part of our past for future generations.”
While some donations have already been made to the restoration of this building, which suffers from water damage and overall deterioration, much more is still needed to reach their ultimate goal. Donations were taken at the table for the restoration of the 40 windows on the building which, due to the way the windows need to be restored, costs $2,500 per window. Windows will then be named in honor of the donors who help pay for the restoration. The chamber is hoping to find new life for the building once fully restored in hopes that it will remain an icon in the community for years to come.
Kicking off the awards for the evening, Dr. Mary Sue Ward, 2013 Board Chairman, began with opening remarks and welcomed the first presenter of the 2013 awards. Small Business of the Year was Horsecreek Winery, Grower of the Year was Joey Williams, Ambassador of the Year was Judy Stracke, Volunteer of the Year was Lynn Purvis, Community Service Award went to Merle Griffin, Company of the Year went to Cook Medical Center, Entrepreneur of the Year was Brian Stone, Woman of the Year went to Debbie Buckholts, and Man of the Year was Buddy Duke.
Along with all of these awards, a new award was presented on this evening. The chamber announced it would be giving an Outstanding Lifetime Achievement award to honor a man, his wife, and his entire family. This heartfelt award went to the family of the late John L. Williams.
The evening closed out with remarks from Jeff Lunceford, who will serve as the 2014 Board Chairman, about the future endeavors of the Adel-Cook County Chamber.