Chamber gears up for annual banquet

By NIKKI ROWELL,

The Petal Area Chamber of Commerce twill host the 2017 Annual Banquet, sponsored by Merit Health Welsey, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18

The chamber invites everyone to join as they celebrate the year and recognize several important members of the community. During this event, the Chamber will recognize the recipients of the 2017 Policeman of the Year, the Firefighter of the Year and the Bobby Runnels Leadership Award winner. The Bobby Runnels Award will be presented by last year’s winner Ken Ribbelin.

The Petal Area Chamber chooses to name their most prestigious award after Runnels as a memorial to his service to the Petal community through involvement with his church, family, school, civic clubs and chamber, as well as being a city father and alderman for several years.

Previous honorees include: W.H. “Bud” Clearman, 1994; Demaris Lee, 1995; R. Allen Flynt, 1996; Dr. William Lewis, 1997; Dr. Barbara Mauldin, 1998; Jessie Rowell, 1999; Ulmer Byrd, 2000; Valerie Wilson, 2001; Jack Gay, 2002; Marcus Ware, 2003; Lynn Cartlidge, 2004; Nadine Coleman, 2005; Dr. Chuck Harrell, 2006; Rachel McKenzie, 2007; Dr. James Hutto, 2008; Rev. Leland Hogan, 2009; Willie Ratliff, 2010; Jim Smith, 2011; Tom King, 2012; Tommy Fairley, 2013; Leahne Lightsey, 2014; Doug King, 2015 and Ken Ribelin, 2016.

Entertainment will be provided by Larry Weaver. Weaver specializes in clean, original humor. His easy-going demeaner, Southern charm and quick wit have won the hearts of audiences across America for over 25 years. 

A true comedy veteran, he has headlined well over 1,000 events at corporate meetings, Chamber of Commerce banquets, churches, comedy clubs and conferences across 37 states.In addition to being a corporate comedian, Weaver is also a comedy booking agent.