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Chamber members feast with friends
web 1002 Lowcountry boil 2
Party guests help themselves to piping hot Lowcountry boil Friday night. - photo by Hollie Moore Barnidge

For more photos of the membership appreciation event, go to

Liberty County Chamber of Commerce members put business matters aside for a few hours Friday night and enjoyed fresh food and the company of friends during the annual membership appreciation Lowcountry boil.

The event, held at VIP Office Furniture and Supply owner Dianne Horton’s Flemington house, featured steamed oysters, Lowcountry boil and an assortment of beverages. Chamber Executive Director Leah Poole said meal preparations partially were handled by Poole’s Deli, with help from sponsors, event committee chairmen and volunteers.

Guests sampled the fare as Wayne County band Dennis and the Menace covered popular classic rock songs.

Poole said a lot of planning goes into the annual feast, which the chamber starts working on in June. Additionally, she thanked sponsors The Heritage Bank, Southeast Auto, CenturyLink, Jimmy and Brigitte Shanken, Stop N’ Stor, Yates Astro, Independence Place, Liberty Chrysler, Slade Sikes Inc. and Coldwell Banker Holtzman, Realtors.

“Nothing we do would be possible without our sponsors,” said Poole, who estimated more than 200 people attended the party, even though the chamber received 190 RSVPs.

Willa Lewis, a chamber board member and first vice president at The Heritage Bank, was happy to see so many familiar faces in the crowd.

“I think it’s a great event. I love getting together with people from the community on a more social basis to show we appreciate each other,” she said. “It’s always business as usual, but it is nice to have some fun. Food, fellowship and fun — if that’s not the point of this party, I don’t know what is.”

Other guests appeared to agree with Lewis’ declaration as they heaped their plates with sausage, shrimp, corn and potatoes, mingled, greeted longtime acquaintances and made a few new contacts.

Chamber board Chairman Kevin Thomas was thrilled to see the entity’s members making the most of the function.

“It’s going great. It’s a great opportunity for networking for our membership. They’re having an awesome time,” he said. “Plus, this is a great way for us to show them how much we appreciate them.”

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