Tribune-Courier News Reporter
The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual dinner on Thursday, Jan. 30.
The mix-and-mingle event will begin at 5 p.m. in the Commons area of the Marshall County High School, but instead of having the dinner and awards ceremony at a separate locations the chamber has decided to keep all of the events in the Commons and cafeteria. Food will be provided at 5:45 and the program will begin at 7.
The theme this year, “Cruisin with the Chamber,” is based loosely on the 50s and according to Chamber Director Debbie Buchanan is going to be a theme well remembered by participants.
She said instead of live entertainment this year the chamber would be providing music set to the theme of the night.
Awards this year include “Business of the Year,” “Citizen of the Year,” “Lifetime Achievement Award,” “Special Recognition Award,” and the new award is the “Tourism Award.”
“We’ve never done the tourism award before, but some times there are things we need to give some special attention to and this year that’s the Silver Trail Distillery,” Buchanan said. “Spencer Balentine’s distillery has only been open a little while, but it’s already brought some extra tourism to Marshall County. The distillery has won several awards and has been added to the Bourbon Trail, which will bring in tourists to this side of the state.”
The “Business of the Year” award is going to the Calvert Drive-In, which has maintained operations since 1953 and in 2013 replaced its projection equipment.
The Calvert Drive-In switched to a digital projector at the cost of almost $75,000, which provides a higher-quality image and handles the 80-foot screen on site better than the original.
The “Citizen of the Year” award is going to Kathy Long, former Marshall County Hospital CEO, who retired June 30, 2013.
Long had served at the hospital since 1999 and it is because of her dedication to the community, Buchanan said, she was chosen for the award.
Jim Defew, of Defew’s Custom Painting and Body Shop in Draffenville, was chosen by the nine-person selection committee as this years “Lifetime Achievement Award” recipient.
Buchanan said Defew’s work was well known around the world and because of that he was chosen.
“He’s most well known for his flame designs and overall impressive talent level,” she said. “He’s well renowned in his line of work and we’re hoping that he’ll bring some of his motorcycles to the dinner to show them off.”
The Marshall County School system was chosen by the chamber to receive the “2013 Special Recognition” award for its student’s excellent state testing scores.
Marshall County students performed at the 98th percentile and the district ranked No. 5 out of 174 school districts in the state of Kentucky.
“When we heard that our school system had done such a fantastic job it was clear they deserved their own reward,” she said. “The school system is vital to our area and so we wanted to recognize them for their hard work.”
Buchanan said the award presentation was going to be the highlight of the evening and will feature short videos about each of the winners.
“We want to make the night as enjoyable as possible for everyone,” she said.
Tickets are available for $25 per person by calling the chamber at 270-527-7665 or by visiting the office in Draffenville.