Archived Story

Masquerade to benefit Chamber’s future

Published 12:03pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

By Ann Rye, Chamber president and CEO

You’re invited to a party … yes, you! And everyone else you know.

The Alexander City Chamber of Commerce is hosting its first Masquerade Social to be held March 16 at The Shoppes of Queen’s Attic. Guests are welcome to arrive at 7 p.m. and will be greeted with a “red carpet” entrance. Hollywood will have no advantage over Alexander City this night as cameras flash and special guests greet our community. I certainly hope you will plan to attend to enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, festive music and, most of all, the opportunity to connect with others who love and care about Alexander City and the Lake Martin area.  It is “party attire,” whatever that means to you, and there will be a mask contest!

However, there is also another very important reason to support the event. During my interviewing process for the president and CEO position at the chamber, I noticed a piece of hardware in the board room that made note of several gentlemen of our community. I could tell that the plaque graced a level of importance. It is made of heavy cast iron, bronzed and detailed with a shiny gold frame.

With raised lettering (always more impressive … even on a business card) it lists the following names:

- C.C. Adams III

- Willis Edmondson

- W.L. Radney Jr.

- Dr. H.E. Askin

- I.I. Fox

- Joe S. Reese Jr.

- Charles E. Bailey

- Ralph Frohsin

- E.L. Robertson

- Leon Baker

- Ralph Frohsin Jr.

- Moss Robertson

- Robert T. Bice

- Robert W. Goree

- Joseph H. Robinson

- James W. Brown Jr.

- Arnold Gothard

- Joseph H. Robinson Jr.

- Dr. J.E. Camerson

- E.W. Gunn

- Richard H. Robinson

- L. Hoyt Carlisle

- J.C. Henderson

- Benjamin Russell

- Rev. John Carwile

- George W. Hulme

- Benjamin C. Russell

- Byron Causey

- Dr. W.A. Jordan

- Benjamin Russell

- C.J. Coley

- Lamar Latimer

- Robert A. Russell

- J. L. Coley

- Omer McGhee

- Thomas D. Russell

- John S. Coley

- Dr. J. L. Miller

- L.E. Sellers Jr.

- Temple W. Coley

- Larry W. Morris

- Harlan Shaw

- W. Cary Cox

- Howard Neal

- W.B. Sowell

- John Crowder Jr.

- Hugh A. Neighbors Jr.

- W.A. Turner

- John Darden Jr.

- Rev. A.D. Perkins III

- R.W. Wilbanks Jr.

- Charles w. Davis

- Tom Radney

- Sim S. Wilbanks

- W.F. Dobbs

- Gene Wolfe

Above these names reads, “This plaque is erected in honor of those people whose civic efforts and generosity have furnished this building.”  Below states, “Alexander City Area Chamber of Commerce – 1978.”

Humbled by my discovery, I realized I couldn’t be here in this capacity without the sacrifice and vision of these men and their families. They collectively realized that a chamber of commerce has a purpose in a community – to promote healthy business relationships, build community development and attract retail and individuals to our area.  Immediately I felt a sense of responsibility to them for their commitment.

In looking around the building, it was evident that even though their foresight in 1978 was impressive, the wear and tear of the years had taken its course. Like any business, we must reinvest to progress our future. The aesthetics of our building need attention.  And so, the Special Events Committee of the chamber has planned the Masquerade event to benefit a building fund which will maintain our structure and make improvements along the way.

Your attendance at the Masquerade will mean more than just a great time. It will mean that you believe in the vision for a bigger and brighter future of commerce for our greater Lake Martin area. It also means that you recognize the need to preserve the initial sacrifice of our founders and to build upon their sacrifice to have a positive image for our future.

Tickets for chamber members will be $20 for individuals or $40 for couples; for non-chamber members the cost is $50 for couples or $35 for individuals.

I have a daily reader that sits on my desk, and the first thing I do every morning is fill my mind with motivational words. Today I read the message from John Maxwell from The Maxwell Daily Reader. The first line stated, “What you see is what you can be.”

By the way, for some reason I read the daily reading for June 28. I don’t think that was a coincidence.

What do you see for Alexander City?

Please call the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce to make your reservation at 256-234-3461.

Rye is president and CEO of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce.