Thursday night I'll be at the Chamber's annual Awards Banquet. This will be my 12th or 13th since moving back home, and it's one of the events I try not to miss.
When you read about the banquet next week, you might be tempted to think that it is just about who won the awards, and that is important. Knowing that we have so many deserving people honored for their public service and commitment to community is VERY important. You might also think it was just about enjoying a nice meal while Tracy Pitcox entertained us with stories of his blessed life, and that is also VERY important.
What you would not know, if you weren't there, is that it's about an event that celebrates perseverance, ingenuity, creativeness and survival! The Mason County Chamber of Commerce is a member-supported organization that gives back to the business community of Mason, and to the whole community, through its many activities.
Like almost all businesspeople in Mason County, I have served on the board. I've done my time helping cut up meat for the Wild Game Dinner, and I've helped put up and take down Christmas decorations on the courthouse lawn. I've also sat through meetings discussing whether it was more important to hold more events to bring in tourists, or to find a way to solicit new business to relocate to Mason County.
The board of the Chamber is made up of elected members of the Mason County business community. Some have lived here almost their entire lives. Others have only recently arrived in the area. That diversity helps to guarantee that a wide range of opinions is being heard, and that the Chamber is attempting to keep an open mind about what is best for our local business community.
In the time that I've been a member, I've seen them do a number of remarkable things to help the community. Their website, which is now undergoing a complete make-over, ranks at the top of search engines, and helps direct visitors and new residents to our community. Their support of the Roundup Court, and the parade, has helped keep our summer schedules full. The previously mentioned Christmas decorations are a traditional part of the holiday atmosphere. And, their constant work to welcome new residents, new businesses and visitors keeps our town from becoming one of the many small-town casualties that one can find just by driving the highways of our state.
In the last dozen years, there have been articles that featured Mason, whether directly or indirectly, in the Austin American-Statesman, the San Antonio Express-News, Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, Southern Living, The Austin Chronicle and more. Every time our community appears in print, there is a noticeable surge in the number of people arriving here to spend their dollars. And, whether you support the Chamber or not, it has been their constant involvement and efforts that help to make those articles possible.
So, on Thursday night, you'll find me at the Chamber banquet. I'll be there to honor the folks receiving awards; but, I'll also be there to show my support for all the other businesspeople of Mason County (which, in truth, we all are), and for the Chamber itself.
Hope you'll be there as well.
It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.