The Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce held its 37th annual membership banquet Tuesday evening at the Belle Meade Country Club with approximately 180 members in attendance. The Chamber's most prestigious award, the Darrell Johnson Award, was presented to Audrey Eller, the Small Business Person of the Year Award went to Lewis Smith, the Volunteer of the Year awards were Johnette Belle and Peter and Camille Ruddick. A new award this year, called the Ambassador Award, was given to Donna Bussell.
Outgoing Chairwoman Cindy Johnston recognized outgoing directors before passing the gavel on to Angela Blair, the chairwoman of the 2009 Board of Directors.
"It has been an honor to serve as the Chamber of Commerce Board Chair," Mrs. Johnston said. "But I'm going to put this in confident hands."
Mrs. Blair said the board's objectives for 2009 "are retention and growth." She announced the Chamber's Camellia sponsor for the year would again be Stokes-Hodges auto dealership.
Atlanta magician Debbie Leifer provided the entertainment for the evening.
"I always begin my show checking the amount of magic that's in the room," she began. "And I know you all possess magic, because anyone who is smart enough to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce has powers."