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Chamber Hosted Record Attendance At Annual Banquet

The Delta County Chamber of Commerce hosted a record number of guests last Saturday night for their annual banquet.

“Wow! What a great turnout, more than the directors and I ever imagined!” said 2016 Chamber President Kathy Houchins. “There was lots of great food, entertainment and fellowship among our great people in Delta County – so many great compliments from those who attended the Delta County Chamber banquet. Monty Tipps band is tops in my book. It was great music for this year’s crowd.”

Despite the chilly temperatures the atmosphere inside the auditorium at Cooper High School was so warming with all the support for honorees and for the Chamber. Past, present and future directors definitely ‘served’ the community at the banquet.

A special appreciation for Monty Tipps and his band – Terry Carter and Jason Waldon for their traditional country music entertainment, Micalyn Rowe for her singing of the National Anthem, Red Henderson Post 483 Vice Commander Butch Burns for his leading of the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer, Big Smith’s catering of the chicken fried chicken meal, bakers Cindy Davis of Grandma’s Kitchen and Kathy Erwin for homemade cakes and IdziBitsy Bakery for the cake balls, National Honor Society members Gabrielle Brown and Sydnye Worden for serving the meal, Cooper ISD for use of facility, Willie “Bear” Wilkins for table setup and maintenance, Edwin Slough for ticket sales, Floral Depot and The Flower Patch for the fresh, red roses.

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2015 Chamber President Cheryl Cash introduced the current and future board of directors and officers to open the banquet and performed a brief business meeting to approve the new by-laws. She was also presented a plaque for her years of service.

2015 Chamber Vice President Denicia Hohenberger recognized the elected officials and special guests present at the banquet.

“Honorees were surprised and humbled by being selected,” added Houchins, as she presented the awards while 2016 Vice President Cindy Roller announced the winners.

Volunteers of the Year

This couple works tirelessly for those in need in Delta County. These former country grocery store owners started giving back in a tiny highly efficient building in Cooper. But it didn’t lack in hope – or love.

These two help organize a team of caring volunteers making sure each family and person in need – has food – which now numbers over 40 families a week. She helps qualify clients while he makes sure the shelves are stocked and ready.

In case you were wondering 15 pounds of food will feed four people for four days, and 26 pounds will feed four people for seven days.

“It is our goal to help those less fortunate and by the Grace of God it could be one of us sitting out there [waiting for a charitable handout] instead of someone else,” she told me on how they care about these people and want to help them.

In 2014 we saw this charity reach a milestone. Not only does the Hope House in Cooper give its clients hope – and nourishment – but with the new location and new name, “Delta Hope House” it truly serves the public to its capacity. The couple saw their dream upgraded from a 240-square foot donated building to a 6,300-square foot one equipped to resemble an actual grocery store with shopping carts.

They are vital members of the First United Methodist Church, active supporters of Doctors Creek park.

Now the Chamber would like to do our part giving back as we honor citizens Fred and Tina Overman, as Volunteers of the Year.

First Responder of the Year

On Feb. 24th of this year he will celebrate his 46th year with the Cooper Volunteer Fire Department. Back in 1970 his job with Lone Star Gas Company transferred him from Sulphur Springs to Cooper. In doing so also required him to become a member of the fire department. Despite a long waiting list, this firefighter was given top priority.

His fellow firefighters describe him best… “He is a HOOT. He always keeps us on our toes and makes us laugh.” TBarr as he is fondly referred “is the best fireman ever seen.”

He is known to those on the big red truck as the “Grandpa” of the department.

We would like introduce everyone’s beloved firefighter Thomas Barr as First Responder of the Year.

Agriculturist of the Year

This year’s Agriculturist of the Year was a pretty clear cut choice. He is a man with a plan that has grown from a tiny white boll. He recently unveiled his latest endeavor to promote the economic development of Delta County. Eli Whitney’s 1793 invention could not even hold a candle, to this over $5 million ginning facility located in Lake Creek, Texas.

This is the most state-of-the art and recent investment in agriculture in a 300 mile radius in the last 25 years. 

“It is important to stay customer-driven instead of just production. Customers will know where their cotton shirts come from, and it is American made,” he once said. This man is the self-proclaimed graduate of Bo Pilgrim University.

At this Gin and Warehouse they are capable of ginning 192,000 pounds of lint every 12 hours. His legacy will be making cotton king again in Delta County.

His words are the epitome of this award, “We want the agricultural community to grow as a whole and prosper.”

The Chamber introduced Pat Pilgrim, owner of PPF Gin & Warehouse, as Agriculturist of the Year.

Educator of the Year

We don’t believe there are enough words to describe everything our next honoree has done for this community, Cooper ISD and the history of Delta County. She is a Cooper High School graduate and came back to her roots after becoming a Longhorn.

She is a Paris Junior College professor teaching a trio of dual credit U.S. and Texas Government courses and U.S. History as well as High School U.S. Government.

She can be seen, like Roller, behind a Nikon on the sidelines, court side and just about any school function helping capture even more historical memories for the Growl Staff. Nor illness or injury has deterred her from working.

She has inspired young minds and encouraged community involvement in her classroom work. She teaches students about local elections and elected officials, how local government works and is always finding new ways to help. Her impact on students is outstanding.

But her efforts in the community don’t stop when the bell rings, she has co-written with Sylvia Wood the Delta County Pictorial History and most currently “Between The Sulphurs.” She is also the author of “Brush Men and Vigilantes” and is very knowledgeable on Delta County history working closing with the Delta County Public Library.

It is our pleasure to present Mrs. Judy Falls with this year’s Educator of the Year Award.

Business of the Year

These awards aren’t always easy to decide. Sometimes we wish we had unlimited funds to honor all the deserving establishments in Delta County.

During 2015 this business was the first to change with the times of Delta County. Following the election, the very first beer was sold at this convenience store by Misty Moore. But the changes didn’t stop. With the encouraging words of Delta County Judge Jason Murray, the owner put the profits from alcohol sales back into the business making huge improvements not only to the curb appeal with paint, lights and signage but also to the inside – it truly is customer-friendly and now a shining example of how we would like businesses to be reflected in Delta County.

They are most proud of their new Beer Cave – this unique cooler is quite an attraction for visitors and customers, alike – renowned for the “coldest beer in Delta County.”

This family owned convenience store has been in business in Cooper for 12 years. The owners are very involved computing from McKinney each and every day to oversee this and the two other stores in Paris.

They are firm believers in the religion Sikh, which is a faith based on equality and service to others.

We would like to present Kuldip “KD” Singh Dhillon, owner Nu-Way on East Dallas Avenue in Cooper with the Business of the Year Award. Accepting in his honor is his son, Harmon and father Mr. Dhillon.

2016 Delta County Chamber Board of Directors President Kathy Houchins, Vice President Cindy Roller, Members Mindy Hicks, Brenda Stewart, Nikki Mullens, James Jarrell, Richard Roan, Shelli Hilliard, Steve James, Kendra Ingram, Kelly Chester and George Stapp and Office Manager: Gracie Young. Houchins and Roller were the co-committee chairwomen for the banquet.

“We were overwhelmed by the crowd,” agreed Roller. “This was our way of giving back to the community by giving them a chance to relax and enjoy while we served them. This night would not have been such a success without all of the gracious contributions and support we were shown. Putting on an event for an over 200 plus number of guests is certainly not easy. We were blessed it worked out so well, and we too were able to enjoy visiting with our guests.” Roller extends a special thanks to Kalynn McKee for providing photography assistance for the Cooper Review and to all the directors present for stepping up to volunteer – before, during and after the banquet.

To become members of the Chamber of Commerce or to find out more information call the Chamber office 903.395.4314 or visit the website at www.deltacounty.org. The Chamber office is located at 41 West Side Square in Cooper, Texas 75432.