Trent Lott will speak in Natchez

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 12, 2001

Senator Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at next month’s Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and awards dinner.

And organizers of the event are thrilled with Lott’s visit on Monday, Sept. 17.

&uot;The effort he has made here is tremendous, from the intermodal center, which he was very responsible for, to working with the corps to reestablish the 14 acres of land under the hill,&uot; said organizer Fred Middleton. &uot;We’re just glad he’s coming to see the great work he’s helped do in Natchez. I told someone we’ve got technically the third most powerful man coming to Natchez.&uot;

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Lott has been personally involved in several key projects in Natchez recently, including securing millions of federal dollars for the ongoing bluff stabilization project. &uot;He had to testify each year to the full senate to get money for Natchez’s bluffs,&uot; Middleton said.

Janet Sullivan, chair of the dinner, said bringing Lott to Natchez took lots of hard work and help from Natchez native Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation and a former Natchez mayor.

&uot;I think we bugged (Lott’s staff) so much until I don’t think they thought we’d stop,&uot; Sullivan said. &uot;We were just wanting him here badly. But it happened through the personal invitation of Butch.&uot;

Sullivan said although Lott is from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, he’s worked hard for Natchez as well. &uot;There’s a saying in politics that he’s ‘toted a lot of water for the Coast’ where he’s from,&uot; Sullivan said. &uot;Well, he’s done the same thing for Adams County

As part of his visit, Lott will make a little history while in Natchez by presenting the ATHENA Foundation Special Recognition Award. It’s the first such award given in Mississippi.

The recipient is the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service in Starkville. The Stennis Center is an independent agency established under the legislative branch of the federal government. It has an annual conference entitled &uot;Southern Women in Public Service.&uot; This conference has become the most significant bipartisan gathering of women political leaders throughout the South who want to make a difference through public service.

&uot;Sen. Stennis was very involved in opening doors of leadership in government to women,&uot; said Sullivan, who is 1996 Natchez Athena Award winner.

The meeting and awards dinner is open to the public. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner beginning at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn Hilltop. Tickets are $35 and reservations should be made through the chamber at (601) 445-4611.

&uot;I think it’s a great opportunity for the chamber to have somebody like him here,&uot; Middleton said. &uot;I just hope the citizens of Natchez and Adams County will come out and show him their support.&uot;