Chamber ready for Celebration

Laurie Willingham and Jenn Tate show off some of the items donated to be auctioned off in a benefit the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce during Monday's Chamber celebration.

Laurie Young and Jenn Tate show off some of the items donated to be auctioned off in a benefit the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce during Monday’s Chamber celebration.

No more is it called the Chamber Banquet.

Now the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce’s 97th annual event to honor and thank the city’s leaders is called a celebration.

The Chamber Celebration will be held Monday, Feb. 25, in the Demopolis Civic Center. Tickets remain available at $35 each, and can be purchased at the door.

The celebration, said Jenn Tate, Chamber director, is “our gift to the community and to the citizens that have helped not only us but Demopolis.”

As part of the celebration, the Chamber holds a Silent Auction, with some “really good stuff” up for bid, donated by area businesses and individuals, said Tate.

The unique items being collected include bicycles, artwork, an infrared turkey fryer, jewelry, a Kindle Fire, golf bag, electric smoker, a sound bar and decorations – with more coming in each day.

These are “high dollar items,” said Tate.  “We hope people are generous with their wallets.”

Highlighting the event this year will be hypnotist Steve Meade, who has been conducting comedy routines with audience participation for many years.

Known particularly in the Midwest, Meade has hypnotized some 15,000 people over the years, and he plans to take volunteers from the Demopolis crowd on “The Virtual Reality Tour” during the Chamber Celebration.

The volunteers will take a mental vacation using the power of hypnosis and their minds.  The first stop may be Jamaica, where they’ll believe they’re on the beach soaking up the sun, or maybe at a beach party competing in a reggae contest. They might be aliens or famous stars.

“After 1,000 performances, he has never failed to entertain,” said Tate.

Each year at the event the Chamber honors a Citizen and Business of the Year, nominated by the community. The Chamber Board of Directors also recognizes Demopolis residents with the Lifetime Achievement, Chamber Volunteer and Community Spirit awards.

Tate, office manager Laurie Young and the active Chamber board are coordinating all of the details of the celebration. Ann Parsons and Barbara Blevins are helping out with flowers. Vowell’s Supermarket is supplying the wine and beer; Collins Communication, the sound, and Pepsi, the soft drinks.

Money raised from the silent auction is used to defray the cost of the celebration and to allow the Chamber to co-sponsor activities in Demopolis throughout the year.

For more information about the banquet and for tickets, call the Chamber office at 289-0270.