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Chamber banquet is Saturday

The Paris Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Awards Banquet Saturday at The Lodge and Mount Magazine State Park.

More than 200 people are expected to attend.

The evening’s activities begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the banquet, which begins at 7 p.m. The menu for the banquet is baked chicken breast, baked potato, green beans, a roll and cobbler for desert.

The guest speaker for the banquet is Rex Nelson and his address is entitled “The New Arkansas.”

Awards to be given and their criteria include:

• Youth of the Year:This young person should possess leadership qualities with an emphasis on humanitarianism, academic excellence and civic programs. The ideal candidate is a deserving high school senior who has displayed exceptional community service, academic excellence and humanitarian leadership qualities. Last year’s winner was Harrison Ramsey.

• Educator of the Year: This person can be working in or retired from and educational field, i.e. Literacy Council; public and/or private school system or childhood development organizations. The ideal candidate should be or have been instrumental in effectively changing lives through the educational process in the community. Last year’s winner was Angie Hutson.

• Law Enforcement Officer of the Year: This award alternates between county and city each year and went to a member of the Paris Police Department last year. This candidate displays exemplary records for performing their job duties as well as having public service interests above and beyond their job description as a law enforcement officer thereby encouraging other officers, by example, to serve the community and its residents at a higher level. Last year’s winner was Sgt. Mark Willhite.

• Small Business of the Year (25 or fewer employees): The ideal candidate should be instrumental in the continued growth of the community through providing a positive, innovative, exemplary approach to the business industry. The business should also be a leader in civic and humanitarian programs, creating a positive impact on the community, thereby encouraging other economic growth. Last year’s winner was Ray Kiefer Automotive.

• Large Business of the Year (26 or greater in employees): The ideal candidate should be instrumental in the continued growth of the community through providing a positive, innovative, exemplary approach to the business industry. The business should also be a leader in civic and humanitarian programs, creating a positive impact on the community, thereby encouraging other economic growth. Last year’s winner was McDonald’s of Paris.

• Community Volunteer of the Year: The ideal candidate should possess leadership qualities with an emphasis on volunteer service to the community for existing projects and or programs, or have been instrumental in the development of community projects and/or programs of benefit to the community and given of their time and effort without monetary compensation for their contributions. No age limit is attached to this award. Last year’s winners were Bently and Carolyn Allen.

• Chamber Member of the Year: This award is given by the Chamber Board of Directors to the chamber member who has shown outstanding and exceptional support and/or service to the Paris Chamber of Commerce in the past year. Last year’s winner was Susan Johnson.

• Vic Bockstadter Memorial - Humanitarian Award. The ideal candidate(s) should be an individual or organization that provides humanitarian services to the community or individuals in the community and/or have been instrumental in the development of humanitarian projects or programs of benefit to the community or individuals who reside in the community. Humanitarians provide these services without monetary compensation. Humanitarian services or programs are those who provide for the needs of individuals in the areas of food, shelter, counseling, ambulatory services, habitat improvements and other exceptional support for citizens in the community who are in need during a time of personal, family or community crisis or disaster.

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