November 12, 2021
Lee Evancho

The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce held their annual Member Appreciation Day. This event was held at the Jacksonville Community Center. It is typically the last event of the year and it is truly meant to be a thank you to all the members. Kim Boyd, Director of Membership & Investor Relations, wanted to stress that members should know they are appreciated and needed. This event is a fun family-friendly event that brings together young and old. Members loaned all the corn hole boards, donated prizes, and stayed up making amazing chili. This event is about fellowship, food, and fun!

There were seven entries into the chili cookout.

  • Dog Bowl Chili – Dave Flounders and Kathleen Saucier had three chilies to compete. They were here with SSSVP which is a nonprofit in that provides transitional housing for veterans. This is an all volunteer organization. They have an upcoming event this spring called Houses United which will be a fun way for UAB and Auburn students to help on the houses.
  • Wild Hogs Biker Chili – Wayne Willis. Mayor Willis was here supporting his District 12 Senate Run as a Republican candidate. He wanted to invite everyone to visit his website at He also stated he was here because he has been a long standing supporter of the small business community. He sees the Chamber staff as coworkers and friends. “The only way to make the community stronger is to show up and work and put actions behind your words.”  He also jokingly wanted to apologize for not having the recipe for his chili, but it is different every time he makes it!
  • Soup-A-Stars – Karla Eden and Jackson Hodges with Anniston Main Street.  Karla wanted to mention a few upcoming events such as Praise in the Park and Rivalry Run. Karla is the coordinator of Anniston Main Street and Jackson is the director.
  • Red Hot Chili Pepper – Brian McVeigh, Calhoun County District Attorney. Mr. McVeigh wanted to be here to support the Chamber and because he just loves community events!
  • We’re with Wendy – Wendy Ghee Draper was here with her husband Mayor Jack Draper to support her District 12 Senate run. She stated she was happy to be here at the wonderful event. “What better way to bring the community together?” She wanted to stress that the Chamber is a great asset and she also enjoyed meeting and talking to the citizens of Jacksonville.
  • 1st Bank of Alabama Fixins – Rob Skelton and Kristin Rice. They wanted to say that this was their first competition and, “They are tickled to death and proud to be here.”
  • Calhoun County Insights – Ted Tedder. When asked to share, he wanted to make sure people knew they can see all Calhoun County events and stories through their website.

The judges for the Chili Cookoff were Leo Eden, Todd Whitmore, and Jimmie Thompson.

The winners or the chili cookout were:

  • Spiciest – Dog Bowl Chili
  • Most Unique – Ted Tedder
  • People’s Choice – Red Hot Chili
  • 1st Place – Dog Bowl Chili
  • 2nd Place – Soup-a-Stars
  • 3rd Place – Dog Bowl Chili

The cornhole tournament hosted ten teams. The winners were 3rd Place Buffalo Rock, 2nd Place Team Exit, and 1st Place Vine Chiropractic.

The event was broadcast by WCKA Alabama 810. They also wanted everyone to know that there are over $3,500 worth of Christmas goodies being given away so make sure you go to the website and register or scan the QR code.

There were also many prizes donated and given away. Some of the companies that donated were Hurst Construction, Samco, Mizzell Marketing & Designs, Buff City Soup, Sand Mountain Pest Management, LLC, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Nobel Bank.

Overall this was a great event and a great way to get to know new people and businesses. If you have any interest in joining the Chamber of Commerce feel free to give them a call at 256.237.3536.

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