Last Thursday the Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet at the Ruston Civic center. Mark Hunter, a chamber member and entrepreneur, explained “the purpose of the event was to honor persons in the community who have gone above and beyond the call of volunteer service according to the awards.
The honorees included Dr. Mildred Gallot, Hill’s Grocery, John E. Maxwell, Alicia Williams, Mertrude Douglas, and Eldonta Osborne. The awards presented were the L.D. Land Government Award, the R.W.E. Jones Education Award, the A.D. Smith Business Award and the Thelma Smith Williams Community Service Award.
The awards are given based on outstanding performance in government, education, and service respectively. Eldonta Osborne and John E. Maxwell were recognized for their unwavering benevolent work in the community.
Honorees are chosen based on the impact their service has made on the community, “the members of the chamber develop a list of individuals in accordance with the award title and the members of the chamber vote” explained by chamber member Hunter. Hunter is the founder and executive director of the Dr. Michael A. Hunter Foundation.
Among those in attendance were Sen. Rick Gallot and Mayor Edward Jones of Grambling, as well as other council members, entrepreneurs, professors, students, and other community leaders.
The evening began with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. As guests arrived, members of the Epsilon Delta chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. escorted them to their tables.
The Chamber also conducted a silent auction showcasing items such as a handmade quilt, 60 minute massage packages, homemade baked goods, and other items donated by chamber members. Aramark catered the event serving jerk chicken breast, saffron rice, and a variety of desserts.
A new practice the Chamber initiated this year was honoring historic events that impacted the Grambling community; this year was the 40th anniversary of the establishing single member districts in Lincoln Parish.
The Chamber expanded the banquet to the Ruston Civic center this year to facilitate growth and expansion.