Friday, February 13, 2009

Chamber Of Commerce Banquet

I have attended my first Chamber of Commerce Banquet. The Mena Chamber of Commerce put on a very nice banquet at the old historic armory building. There were a large number in attendance, many more than in the past. The meal was catered by a new Italian restaurant here in town called Spinelli's. The food was great, but they were a bit slow because of the large attendance. We were at County Judge Stanley's table with him and his wife Vicki and our good friends Lisa and Dalton Doughty. We had a great time visiting and laughing. Who knew a banquet could be so much fun.

Gina, Vicki and Lisa

I had mentioned going to the banquet a month ago, but Gina wasn't that excited about it. "Why do you want to go", she asked. I couldn't tell her the real reason. The Chamber had let me know that Gina was going to be receiving an award from the Governor, but they wanted it to be a surprise. She finally said she would go to the banquet if I wanted to. When they were presenting different awards, Gina was talking with her friends and not listening that closely. When they called out her name, her jaw dropped and she sat there for a moment in disbelief. After a bit of a nudge, she went forward and received her award from Senator Larry Teague.

Gina's letter from Governor Mike Beebe reads:

Dear Regina:

It is my pleasure to commend you as you are recognized for dedicated volunteer service to the Mena-Polk County Chamber of Commerce. Community service is not only noble, but it is also necessary. Individuals who lend a hand through volunteer efforts help to bridge the gap between what society needs and what it can afford.

I hope that you will continue to be committed to improving the lives of others and to changing your part of Arkansas. By giving your time and talent, you have made a lasting contribution. Your energy and your generosity will make our state a better place for all of us.

Mike Beebe

To say that Gina was surprised and excited would be an understatement. It was fun to be able to surprise her.

At the Chamber Banquet


  1. Sincerest congratulations, Gina! What a lovely surprise you had pulled on you. You must know how to keep a secret, Richard. Nice work!

  2. This is really great. And it is a satisfaction to get such a beautiful recognition. In particular, when it is not expected.

    Congratulations to Gina for her achievement and congratulation to you, Richard, for having gotten her good.

  3. You two look like a happy couple!

    Congratulations to Gina for all that volunteer work! And to Richie for being able to keep a secret!

    It's nice to receive an award, but I bet Gina would say being able to help others is the best part of volunteering. Still, it's nice to know that others notice.

  4. Major congratulations! I really hated to miss the banquet - and glad it was a good time.

    Looking forward to the Relay!

  5. tell gina i said CONGRATS! that's such an honor and i think it's really neat that you kept it a secret from her!