The Williamsburg Home-Town Chamber Awards Banquet was informative, filled with positive messages, and of course, hilarious. As I sat among a sold out crowd at the Kingstree Recreation Center, I wondered what it must take to organize such an event. On the outside, it’s a bunch of people celebrating the well deserving awards recipients while being entertained by a bunch of chamber board members who pretty much adlib a skit.
But if you think about it, there is a lot more involved than meets the eye.
This year’s theme was “Prime Time in Williamsburg County” and the board went all out to convince us they were the real McCoy(s).
I’ve seen Duck Dynasty only once, but I would have bet you a dollar that was Louisiana’s living legion Phil Robertson - minus his strict routine of no showering, no shaving, and no clothes washing of any kind during their 10-week duck season.
No less memorable was the performance by Shannon Coker, AKA Swamp People’s Bruce Mitchell. Draped only in a pair of overalls, an American flag bandana and sporting a shotgun slung over a shoulder, the redneck renegade could easily have given the real swamper a run for his money. The chamber players portrayed other stars from programs such as Jeopardy, The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Martha Stewart, all of which will not soon be forgotten.
The finale was not your typical song and dance - well, yes it was but with a twist. Our Felician Sisters, under the guise of Sister Act, dispensed a lesson in life to Kim Kardashian, AKA Adrel Langley before belting out a rendition of “My Girl.” Though there were plenty of giggles, dancing and applause, their message was enduring: true happiness isn’t achieved through fame and fortune.
The entire cast of characters (led by the infamous “director” Mona Dukes who played the Queen of England for reasons we may never know) was on target portraying their television counterparts, and the message rang true; however, the night belonged to the honorees. A dozen awards were presented by prominent members of the community. Each presenter stood before the crowd and described - in depth - the past, present, (and future in some cases) the lives and works of our leaders. And it’s all that information that got me to thinking.
Part of writing an article about someone includes interviews with that person. That may be obvious, but when it comes to getting the scoop on the chamber awards recipients, director Leslee Spivey is not afforded that luxury. Mrs. Spivey must go about it in a different way. She’s sort of like a Recon Marine or a Seal Team 6 operative: covertly assimilating herself into the subject profile, observe, gather required information and leave without being detected by the target. Well, that’s a bit of a stretch but honestly, that’s rather impressive. In fact, I believe Mrs. Spivey missed her calling. Does news reporter ring a bell?