At its annual Christmas party, the Long County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday named the Long County School System its 2013 business of the year and installed officers for the coming year.
“I’m totally floored by this. I had no idea this was coming,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said.
Board of education Chairwoman Janet Watford and member Julie Dawson also were on hand for the announcement.
“Getting an award like this is so special, but this is only possible because of the support of all of the stakeholders in the school system, the board, the school staff, the community and the students,” Waters said. “The old saying goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Well, it takes a whole community to raise a student, and the support that Long County has for its kids is great.”
After Waters accepted a plaque from chamber President Kadee Dasher, Miriam Murray introduced the 2014 incoming officers — President Don Melton, President-elect Ray Howard, corresponding secretary Elise Stafford, recording secretary Christy Wingate, treasurer Joan Robbins and additional directors James Wasden and Teresa Odum.
Melton addressed party attendees and encouraged them to continue their support of Ludowici and Long County businesses. He urged those in attendance to join the chamber and said the organization will continue to hold its Business After Hours events and leadership breakfasts in the coming year.
“This is your organization, and we want your input,” Melton said.
After business had been conducted, a cake auction and memorabilia blind auction were held to raise money for the chamber’s scholarship fund. Melton said the chamber provides two $500 college scholarships and one $350 technical-college scholarship every year to Long County graduates. This year, the top donation for a cake came from attorney Jeffrey Arnold, who bid $110 for a coconut cake baked by chamber member Ann Parker.
Following the auctions, the Long County High School Rip-Tide Jazz Band performed Christmas tunes as guests made s’mores over a fire pit. The party, held at Forest Pond Lodge, was sponsored by Altamaha Federal Credit Union, Liberty Regional Medical Center and Canoochee EMC.