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Businesses, individuals honored for contributing
George Gibson (second from right) received the Presidents Award, the highest honor given by the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce. From left are Galloway; Donnie Weeks, with KershawHealth; and Powers. - photo by Miciah Bennett

The Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce (KCCC) held its 102nd annual meeting, awards gala and reception Tuesday at home in the Robert Mills Courthouse.

The event was presented by AT&T and sponsored by several Kershaw County businesses. Ike Byrd, the regional director of external affairs and guest speaker for the evening, has worked with AT&T for more than 40 years.  Byrd said AT&T’s job is to invest in people and education.

“It is essential for each individual to reach their full potential,” he said.

AT&T has had a Kershaw County affiliation since 1906, he said, and has sponsored the KCCC gala and reception for three years.

 Outgoing Chamber President Robbie Powers, of Powers Funeral Home, introduced Chip Galloway, vice president of organizational improvement with Galloway Enterprises/KFC, as the 2012-2013 president. Powers and Galloway spoke of the changes that have occurred in Kershaw County through the KCCC and gave hope to the future of the county.

“I would love to have (our children) come home and have something to be proud of,” Galloway said.

Award winners for the evening included the following:

Cal Thaxton, of Thaxton Insurance Group, received the William F. Nettles Award. The Nettles Award is given annually to a non-board member who has done the most to further the programs of the chamber in the past year. Thaxton has been a member of the KCCC for 15 years.

Dr. Thomas Joseph was honored as the Business Person of the Year.  The Business Person of the Year is an award given annually to an individual or a business that has contributed significantly to the betterment of Kershaw County. Joseph retired from full-time practice at Pediatric Associates of Kershaw County last fall.

George Gibson, owner/manager of the Sears franchise and Fitness Zone Health Club in Lugoff, received the President’s Award. The President’s Award is the highest honor given by the organization. It is given annually to an individual or individuals who have contributed significantly to Kershaw County for an extended period of time or have made a significant contribution to the betterment of the community and a long-term commitment to improving Kershaw County and making it a better place for citizens and visitors.

Sub Station II/Lugoff and its owner, John Thomas, and Blaney Baptist Church and the Rev. Philip Blankenship received Business Partner of the Year awards. Business Partner of the Year recognizes a business or organization that has contributed the most to the Kershaw County School District in time and/or resources throughout the year.

Community Pride awardees included AllStaff Employment Services, Arby’s, Blaney Fire Department, Bloomsbury Inn, Exterior Dreams & Seamless Gutters, McDonald’s, Mill Village Veterinarian, Mullikin Law Firm, Sweet Carolina Cakes, Tenet Wealth Management, Dusty Horseman, TruVista and Perry Antiques & Collectibles. Community Pride Awards recognize chamber members that have done extensive exterior remodeling, new construction or landscaping which significantly improved the appearance of the community.

Seven board members who will complete their term in June were awarded plaques: Joseph Bruce, George Gibson, Wade Luther, Deborah Outlaw, Dr. Brian Spilker, Dennis Stuber and John Wells.