It Takes a Village

Summertime is here and I am happy to report that he Chamber will finish strong this fiscal year! We wrapped up with the Annual Golf Tournament on May 15th hosted at The Currahee Club. What a beautiful venue, right in our own backyard. Andrew Ward, Clark Spratlin and their fantastic staff along with the Chamber Golf Committee and fabulous volunteers all working together in one accord, helped to make the day seamless for all who participated. And of course we never could have done it without the financial support of our Corporate Sponsors and Chamber Members. Thank you to all who played a part in making the day a huge success.

We followed that right up with our Annual Chamber Meeting & Awards Banquet on Thursday evening May 21st, hosted at Georgia Baptist Conference Center. The evening began with beautiful entertainment by David Fry on the saxophone and a delicious meal. We offer a special thanks to Bill Wheeler, Ann Ash and the amazing Georgia Baptist staff, who created a perfect setting for our event. 

It was an exciting evening of celebration and recognition of many of our outstanding businesses and individuals in this community who are making a difference. What a clear reminder of the high caliber leaders that we have in Toccoa-Stephens County. Ms. Connie Gaines was the Emcee for the event, and Mr. Craig Carter, VP of Field Operations for Chick-fil-A, Inc. was our Keynote Speaker. 

And what a privilege it was to recognize so many in our great community. Mr. Roy Gaines was celebrated as he received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. What a contribution he has made to Stephens County. After joining the Navy in June 1944, and serving in two major engagements in the Pacific, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Mr. Gaines moved to Toccoa to work for the R.G. LeTourneau Radio Station, WRLC. In 1956, Mr. Gaines and his brother Chuck, established Stephens County Broadcasting Company and founded Radio Station WNEG in Toccoa. In 1984, Stephens County Broadcasting Company brought local television to northeast Georgia with WNEG-TV, Channel 32. In Mr. Gaines’ words, “In my sixty plus years as a citizen of Toccoa/Stephens County, I have always believed you have a responsibility to give back to the community that gives you the opportunities it affords. I have tried to do that through various civic and community projects.” His list of accomplishments and contributions is extensive and Toccoa is a better place because of Mr. Roy Gaines and his family.

As we wrap up this 2014-2015 year at the Chamber, it is my absolute privilege to be part of a team that is so determined to lead our community to new heights. The old saying, “it takes a village…” certainly applies here. It takes a village to take a community to the next level, and what an awesome village we have in Toccoa-Stephens!