Monday, March 10, 2014
The creativity of our citizens always amazes me. Each year the Williamsburg HomeTown Chamber hosts an awards banquet and each year sponsors go the great lengths to decorate their tables according to a theme. This year the theme was Happily Ever After and we weren't disappointed. Tables festooned with candy-laden castles, shimmering crowns and even a little black magic were all fit for even the most regal prince or princess.
Then there's the board whose task is to entertain us with their wit and wisdom. Ok, I'm not sure about the wisdom part but this group of working men and women know how to tickle our funny bone. And they do so honorably; in their pink piggy tutus and bare-chested Aladdin vests and dashing puss-n-boots.
Your ticket also provides all you can eat from Brown's BBQ catering. In fact, the script included the three, er, two little pigs. Genius!
The night however belongs to the real stars. The banquet is a gathering to honor our friends, co-workers, business owners, even our kids who go beyond their comfort zone to make our lives better. The awards recipients this year are true American heroes; from our voluntary firefighters who unselfishly put their lives on the line, to women who care for the elderly and work to reduce the county's waste, to a group of young men who take on a variety of beautification projects; we salute you.
The HomeTown Chamber promotes many community-related activities and the banquet is, in my opinion, their most admirable. As always, the board delivers a colossal dose of laughter and the award recipients are celebrated for the real stars they are but underscoring the event is the powerful message that never changes.
In her words board chair Debbie Ipock described her love for Williamsburg County - likening it to a magical place of pine trees, oaks laced with delicate moss, ancestral graveyards, the music of Gullah and low country dialects, sweet hymns sung in tiny churches and purlieu in cast iron pots. "Sound familiar?" she asked the crowd. "I know that each of you has his or her own special memories to share and I encourage you to promote Williamsburg County, its strengths, its landscapes, and its people, so that others may join us in the joy of small-town and country living."
Living "happily ever after" is not just a phrase out of a children's book, nor is it a fairy tale. It is a message - a connotation if you will - that if used without restraint could possibly turn the page to a brighter future. What is your message?