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December 18, 2013

Mardi Gras coming to Athens

Athens — Ready for a little Mardi Gras fun?

The Athens Chamber of Commerce is preparing for its annual banquet and this year’s theme is Mardi Gras.

The event will be held Friday, Jan. 24 at the Athens Country Club. Tickets are $40 each or $300 for a table of eight.

Several surprises are being planned for the event. Some of the announced activities include a live and silent auction and a Mardi Gras mask decorating contest.

Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated mask, event co-chair Kim Walker said. Tony Kalawe is also co-chair.

Staying with the Mardi Gras theme, the dinner will be cajun-style food, including blackened chicken as the main entree.

Items are still needed for the live and silent auction. To donate an item, contact Kari Wilmeth at 903-288-5114. Tickets are available by contacting Betty Herriage at 903-675-6100 or the chamber office at 903-675-5181.

Proceeds raised from the auction will benefit the chamber of commerce.

The highlight of the night will be the presentation of the large business of the year, small business of the year, ambassador of the year and the citizen of the year.

The new chamber board will be presented and installed during the event.

Deadline for nominating someone for citizen of the year is Wednesday, Dec. 18.

Do you know someone living in Athens who, over a long span of time and beyond the duties of their regular employment, has exhibited generous community spirit, and a commitment to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Athens and the entire community?

This would be someone who demonstrates outstanding leadership, citizenship, vision, civic pride and a strong commitment to a better Athens, and whose volunteerism and community involvement has had a positive influence and improved the quality of life for individuals in Athens.

He or she is a person who might go largely unknown to the majority of the community, and yet quietly performs tasks that make Athens a better place to call home.

“If so, we invite you to submit a nomination for someone that deserves the recognition of this award,” Citizen of the Year organizer Mary Waddell said.

The award recipient’s identity will be kept secret until it is announced, and the recipient is honored at the banquet.

Nominations should be sent as a letter of recommendation in a sealed envelope marked: Citizen of the Year, Athens Chamber of Commerce, 201 W. Corsicana St. Suite 1, Athens, TX 75751, or hand-delivered no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2013.

The Athens Chamber has honored a Citizen of the Year since 1966.

Last year’s recipient was Dr. Bill Hunt. Judith McGilvray was the 2011 award winner.

Recent award winners include Dr. Gary Williamson (2010); Mary Waddell (2009); Gary Chasey (2008); Jess Laird (2007); Richard Sanders (2006); and Rusty Workman (2005).

Last year’s ambassador of the year was Kim Hodges, Ship Shop was the small business of the year and First State Bank was named large business of the year.

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