Centralia Chamber hosts annual banquet
By Cathy Stuehmeier-
“It’s about time” was the theme of the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce annual banquet sponsored by SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital. This is the first annual banquet held since March, 2019 due to COVID. The event was held in partnership with Castle Ridge’s “The Black Tie Event” on New Year’s Eve, Friday, December 31, 2021.
The events were open to the public and well attended, and they happened simultaneously with the Chamber giving awards to well deserving businesses.
Marcus Holland, executive director of the Centralia Chamber said, “It is about time we celebrate businesses and recognize people who continue to move our community forward!” He went on to say, “We are excited to have this unique opportunity for our Chamber of Commerce members and host the event at Castle Ridge.”
Dinner was served complete with a champagne toast and fireworks at midnight.
The following businesses received awards for 2021: Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery — 100 Year Anniversary; Jerry’s Grill and Bar — 50 Year Anniversary; SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital — Legacy Award; Crooked Creek Crossing / Rosati’s / Best Western / Subway — Legacy Award; Castle Ridge / Stonewater Restaurant / Gaetti Sports Academy — Legacy Award; ConAgra Brands / Duncan Hines — Partners in Progress; and Centralia City Schools District 135 — Partners in Progress, among others.
Major sponsors of this event include SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, Gonzalez Companies, Kaskaskia College, and Land of Lincoln Credit Union and Lakeside EMS.
The banquet started by recognizing for longevity the awardees from 2020, since they were not able to attend an annual banquet in the year they would have been recognized. They were: 25 year anniversary — Centralia Recreation Complex; 30 year anniversary — Salem Travel; 30 year anniversary — South Central Transit; 100 year anniversary — Centralia Rotary Club; 100 year anniversary — Centralia American Legion.
If The Weekly could have given an award it would have been to each that received the awards, but a special award would have also gone to Centralia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcus Holland for holding it together for the overall health of the Chamber.
Pre-COVID Chamber membership was 360. It dipped down to 325, and membership now is at 350.
Congratulations to Marcus and all that contributed so much!
Pictured above: Centralia Chamber Executive Director Marcus Holland (far left) with Community Partners (L to R): Scott Randall, City of Centralia; Chad and Nicole Setzekorn, Chaddy Daddys BBQ Haven; Makalia Atkins-Williams, Land of Lincoln Credit Union; Damon Harbison, SSM CEO