Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce to hand out new awards

Published 12:01 am Monday, February 19, 2018

By Sabrina Simms

VIDALIA — Two new awards will be added to the Concordia Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards ceremony this year.

The annual ceremony celebrating the best of the parish will be at 6 p.m. on March 22 at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.

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Chamber President Fred Middleton said each newly elected leader of the chamber tries to add something new to the ceremony each year. The two awards added this year are Farmer of the Year and First Responder of the Year.

“Concordia Parish is made up of agriculture,” said Middleton. “There is so much economic impact that farming … and agribusiness have in Concordia Parish. I just thought it was time to recognize somebody that has done an exceptional job in farming — with the economic impact that it has on the parish.”

Middleton said the heroes of the parish that have not been acknowledged in the past would not be forgotten this year.

‘The first responder (award was added) simply because — whether you’re a fireman, policeman or sheriff’s deputy or are with the ambulance service — we’ve got some heroes that have served this community in one of those capacities. I just wanted to recognize that person as well,” Middleton said.

He said another change to the ceremony is the type of awards that will be presented. The traditional wall plaque will not be handed out at this year’s ceremony — rather a secret award will be given to each winning nominee.

Former insurance commissioner and Louisiana Sen. Jim Brown will be speaking at the event.

Individual tickets to the ceremony are $70, with other package pricing available. The cost covers all food, drinks, entertainment and cocktails.

The evening event includes a two-piece band, cocktails, food catered by Magnolia Grill, live and silent auctions and a drawing for a $2,500 prize.

“It’s a big event to put together. … (Brandy Spears, event chairman) has done a great job, and the board has been very supportive to make this year a bit different.”

Applications for award nominees are being accepted until Feb. 23 by chamber board members. Middleton encourages non-members to reach out to the board about nominations.