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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce held it’s Annual Awards and Installation Banquet on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 in Tartan Hall in downtown Franklin. Each year the Franklin Chamber of Commerce presents individuals, a business and a club or organization, with an annual award for their service and contributions to the community and abroad. The Chamber of Commerce staff receives numerous nominations and meets with the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to determine the winners each year. The dinner was catered by Chef Connie Grubberman and she was assisted by members of the LBJ Job Corps students.

Some of the highlights of the evening included fantastic introduction by Dr. Steve Morse from WCU,  to a showing of a video produced locally by 99 Hills, that spoke of the benefits of being full time business owner and the opportunities that exist here in Macon County, another highlight of the evening was a photographic slide show by Franklin area photographer Eric Haggart, owner of Timeless Moments Imaging, that not only showed all of the rolls that the Chamber of Commerce plays in some of the biggest events in the town, but also the scenic and quieter side of this beautiful area that we live in.

As we came to the awards, first up was the recognition of the Board of Directors past President, Judy Chapman. We thank you so much for your leadership over the last year and are grateful to have been able to serve with you.

The 2015 Chamber Member of the Year went to BI-LO.

Pam Bowen accepts the Chamber Member of the Year for BI-LO

Pam Bowen accepts the Chamber Member of the Year for BI-LO

 

The next award that was presented was for the Youth Rising Citizen of the Year:

The Youth Rising Citizen Award was given to Ms. Miranda Williamson

The Youth Rising Citizen Award was given to Ms. Miranda Williamson

 

The 2015 Club/Organization of the Year Award went to – Holly Springs Community Development Club, LLC

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Holly Springs Community Development Club, LLC – 2015 Franklin NC Chamber of Commerce Club of the year

 

Along with the special recognition given by the Chamber of Commerce, Duke Energy also has an annual award that they present to an individual who has stood apart from the pack, in this year’s case, one who led the “race”. This year’s Duke Energy Citizenship & Service Award went to

Mr Dave Linn of Franklin. Dave is a vital organizer and cheerleader for many races in the area each year.

Mr Dave Linn of Franklin. Dave is a vital organizer and cheerleader for many races in the area each year, raising countless funds to help serve the needs of those involved

 

Our last award was a bit different this year, and though we had one winner announced, there were also 5 other individuals that were going to be receiving Distinguished Service Awards. For going above and beyond their call of duty, placing themselves in harms way, not only on this day, but in everyday they put on their uniforms. These five deputies of the Macon County Sheriffs Department responded to a situation that had the potential to be another horrible, violently carried out, mass shooting of innocent lives. More so, the lives of our most innocent, the children of one of our Macon County Schools. The situation was quickly diffused and the subjects were taken down in a short manner. The courage and leadership displayed by these five deputies is why we voted to award each of them with a Distinguished Service Award. They are: Sgt. Michael Langley Sr., Cpl. Jonathan Phillips, Dep. Blake Buchanan, Dep. Anthony Hopkins, and Dep. Audrey Parrish. They will be pictured below, which bring us to our final award winner, the 2015 Franklin NC Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Ms Alice Bradley. Without the quick thinking, courageous, and selfless acts that Ms Bradley exuded on this particular morning here in our little slice of heaven, Franklin, NC would’ve been forever placed into the annuls of history and remembered in similar fashion to Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech and on and on. Those horrific events were about to unfold when, Ms Bradley armed with her wits and her school bus, blocke the two would be assailants and kept them distracted and occupied, while placing her own life at risk, until the deputies could arrive and apprehend the unknown subjects who seemed willing to kill innocent people, children and law enforcement personnel. Thankfully, Alice Bradley was up to the task and became a hero to so many that may never even know her story.  Quite plainly, a hero.

 

Sheriff Robert Holland with Macon County Deputies surrounding Ms. Alice Bradley

Sheriff Robert Holland with Macon County Deputies surrounding Ms. Alice Bradley

Congratulations to all of our winners! We hope you enjoyed the Chamber’s Annual banquet and we hope we’ll see you throughout the new year at some of the upcoming events. Have a safe and happy 2016, we’re looking forward to another fantastic year here in Franklin!