LAURINBURG — The Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce will hit the ground running for 2016 with its 77th annual membership banquet on Thursday.
The event will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. at the Highlands at 17160 Plant Road. During the banquet, the organization will present its traditional service awards.
The Dunbar/McCoy Quality of Life Award is given to an individual who, though perhaps keeping a low profile, dedicates time to improving the environment for those living and working in Scotland County. The Dormagen/McLean Community Youth Service Award is awarded to an individual aged 15 to 21 who has taken the role of community leader and peer role model.
Also recognized by the Chamber of Commerce will be the business of the year, a civic-minded enterprise with a record of generosity when it comes to good causes in Scotland County, and volunteer of the year.
Last year’s honorees were Carver Middle School care coordinator James McLean for the Dunbar-McCoy award, Scotland High School student Walter Jackson, IV for the Dormagen/McLean award, Business of the Year Nic’s Pic Kwik, and Volunteer of the Year Fred Fox.
Also on Thursday, the Chamber of Commerce will hear from outgoing chairman Lee Howell and incoming chairman Dean Nichols.
During Thursday’s function, Chamber member Gryphon Group Security Solutions will report on its new and existing programs in support of area law enforcement officers, including no-cost training, off-duty employment in site security, and scholarships.
Gryphon Group primarily trains combat troops at its facility at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airbase, but extends its definition of combat to include the work of those in law enforcement.
“If you put a gun on in the morning to do your job and you kiss your family goodbye and you cannot tell them for certian you’re going to be home at the end of the day, then you’re in combat,” said Gryphon CEO Michael Vaden. “We would encourage every citizen to go out of your way to support these people, because they are the only thing between us and evil.”
Seats for Thursday’s banquet are still available at $35 per person. For information or reservations, call the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce office at 910-276-7420.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.