VALDOSTA -- Penelope White and Jeff Stubbs were recognized as outstanding volunteers Thursday at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce "Salute to Volunteers" Rise 'N Shine breakfast.

White was named the "2002 Chamber Chum of the Year" for her efforts in assisting the organization retain its members, and Stubbs received the "2002 Chamber Ambassador of the Year" award for his support of Chamber events. Stubbs attended 77 of 107 ribbon cuttings, seven Business After Hour events, and three Rise 'N Shine breakfasts during the year.

Chamber President Myrna Ballard emphasized the importance of acknowledging the hundreds of volunteers who serve on committees and task forces.

"People volunteer because it's good for business," Ballard said. Volunteers are instrumental in helping the Chamber's staff ensure the success of the legislative action agenda, the Drugs Don't Work initiative, Triple Crown Hometowns retiree attraction program, small business development and more.

The Chamber has compiled a Program of Work for the year, all volunteer driven, with hundreds of initiatives and programs planned, all with the purpose of helping member businesses grow and prosper.

The annual breakfast, held at Best Western, attracted more than 200 community and business leaders, with Chamber members giving presentations emphasizing the importance of volunteering and the difference it's made in their businesses.

Tim Carroll, a Chamber board member, said he's received both direct and indirect benefits from his volunteer work on several committees, including the military affairs committee.

"The people I've met who are now doing business with me, the level of exposure I've received in publicity, and the opportunities for personal growth are all reasons I volunteer. People like doing business with people they know."

Chamber Board member Willie Head stated that his purpose in volunteering was initially selfish, as he was trying to start and grow a business, but he came to realize the importance of the work he was doing, especially as a minority representative on the board.

"I want to be a beacon to attract others," he said, as the Chamber offers many activities from which minority business owners would benefit from involvement.

Jeannette Coody, in presenting the Chamber Chum of the Year award, acknowledged the power of volunteer work and the meaning it has added in her own life.

"My father always said it's better to wear out than to rust out," she said. "I believe that service is the rent you pay on the space you occupy."



To contact Business Editor Kay Harris, please call 244-3400, ext. 280.

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