The February 6th Waskom Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet at the Waskom High School cafeteria was packed to the brim.
The full-house event featured Guest Speaker Robbie Shoults of the Bear Creek Smokehouse, who delivered a heartfelt presentation: “73 Years of Family, Food and Faith” and introduced his lovely bride, Tracy.
This family dynasty of five generations is celebrating 73 years of community service and a thriving business that has expanded across the USA. Robbie and loved ones attend to their business affairs, their fine foods and culinary skills get showcased on TV programs like the “Rachel Ray Show.”
The Waskom Chapter of Commerce, in tandem with their Marshall sister Chamber of Commerce, were in attendance, headed by Executive Director Stormy Nickerson. She introduced the recently-elected Waskom Board.
The gala event for the night included a silent auction, raising funds for the newly formed United Help of Waskom – a local nonprofit organization, striving to help the needy with food and clothing. A silent auction was convened with a broad range of services and merchandise, provided by local entrepreneurs, community leaders, artists and vendors.
Waskom ISD Superintendent Jimmy Cox was elected as Board Chair, Waskom PD Chief Westy Meisenheimer, Immediate Past Chair, Christy Gentry, Bill Ledger and Rhonda Noble were elected to the 2018 Advisory Board of the Waskom Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Host, Jimmy Cox started the gathering with Harrison County Commissioner William Hatfield giving the Invocation. Joe Buck Crisp led the pledge of the allegiance, and then sang the National Anthem.
Cox and Nickerson headed the ceremonies with the “Citizen of the Year Award,” honoring Marty Vaughan, co-owner of the T.C. Lindsey Company, as Waskom’s leading entrepreneur, dedicated community leader, who works diligently to help the less fortunate and serve the community. She volunteers with the Waskom Fire Department as an EMT, is affiliated with the Waskom’ Pastors Alliance, attends and serves at Waskom’s First United Methodist Church and is involved in multiple community-minded endeavors.
Ms. Marty Vaughan was away on the East Coast and Pastor Sherry Crenshaw received the award on her behalf.
Pastor Crenshaw read Marty Vaughan’s acceptance speech:
“The citizen award is quite unexpected and a tremendous honor and I deeply appreciate it. Being raised in the Waskom area and a product of the Waskom school system have nurtured and prepared me so well for my life of service. I am grateful for those who have encouraged and supported me and feel privileged to work alongside so many persons dedicated to Improving the Waskom community and surrounding area: the Chamber, WISD, the Education Foundation, the Waskom Public Library, Waskom Lions Club, Harrison County Historical Commission, Waskom Fire-EMS, Women’s Auxiliary, Waskom Study Club, Operation Help, Ministerial Alliance, Waskom First United Methodist Church, and my family and friends. It is my hope that more businesses, individuals, churches, schools, government agencies and organizations can increasingly work together in innovative ways to address the changing needs of the Waskom community and its citizens. By involving all segments of our community and by working together, we can build a stronger community and continue to improve the quality of life for our citizens.”
A special presentation was made by State Representative Chris Paddie, with a State of Texas Flag flown over the capital in Austin as a salute for Marty Vaughan’s unselfish service and dedication to the Waskom community.
A special tribute was sent by Senator Ted Cruz, honoring Marty Vaughan for her tireless and selfless service to the Waskom community.
Multiple community leaders took part in the festivities, including Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon, Judge Joe Black, Waskom Mayor Jesse Moore and City Secretary Tammy Lofton, the Waskom Fire Department’s Chief and Mrs. Murf King, Waskom PD Chief Westy and Shelly Meisenheimer, Waskom ISD Police Chief David Dulude, First Baptist Church’s Youth Pastors and School Board Member Jacob and Amy Speight, Faith Independent Baptist Church Pastor Doug Lovett, along with many other prominent community figures.
Table Sponsors for the Chamber Event, raising funds for the United Help of Waskom, were the Eastex Telephone Cooperative, Landmark Drilling, Josh Maness, Attorney at Law, All About Trees, Citizens National Bank, Five Starr Builders, Meadowbrook Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Texas State Representative Chris Paddie, Waskom Independent School District Administration, Waskom Independent School District Board of Trustees.
Special thanks were paid to “Big Mama” from the Waskom ISD for the outstanding food and service they provided for the spectacular event, along with Chief Keith Mierop, Sysco Food Service, Waskom Culinary Arts Department, Waskom High School, Sweet Street, Dessert Donation, Tea Donation.
Contributors to the Silent Auction were Waskom’s Burger King, Classic Stone Interiors, Jimmy Cox, Darby Feed Mill, Eastex Telephone Cooperative, Fancy Fanny Finds, Michael Scott, Kelley Feazell, Initial Outfitters, Kelly Meloh, Terri Kay, Landmark Drilling, Louisiana Candle Company, Meadowbrook Funeral Home, Tammy Mierop, Stormy Nickerson, Marshall Chamber Director, Waskom FFA.
The solidarity of the Waskom Community resonated in Robbie Shoults mantel, “Family, Food & Faith,” as the chambers turned out to honor a premier citizen and carry on the work towards funding the United Help of Waskom, helping all who are in need and strengthening the community.