COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Civic Center was alive with music and laughter from folks dressed in western-style attire Saturday for the annual Chamber of Commerce awards banquet.

Nearly 200 people representing local and state-level governments, Copperas Cove Independent School District and local businesses, as well as Central Texas College and Texas A&M-Central Texas attended the event.

Liz Sherman, vice president for the chamber, said the event grows bigger and better every year.

“This was a great, awesome turnout. We definitely had more RSVPs than previous years,” Sherman said. “We love that the business community comes out to support the chamber.”

Attendees were able to bid on auction items, network with fellow chamber members, eat barbecue and cheer on their peers, who came away from the event one award richer.

“It’s an opportunity for all the chamber members to come together to recap the last year, meet the incoming board and recognize the outgoing board members,” Betty Price said. “We also are able to recognize the members that go above and beyond, with our awards.”

Copperas Cove ISD Deputy Superintendent Rick Kirkpatrick, chamber board chairman, presented the 2014 awards to several businesses in various categories as well as the individual who best represented the chamber.

“It’s such an honor to be chosen amongst so many great small businesses that also do a lot for Copperas Cove,” said Bill French of Bill French Jewelers, which was chosen as the Small Business of the Year. “It’s easy to give and support the chamber because they are always there to support small business.”

Two-stepping to live music provided by the Branded Heart Band ended a night filled with socializing and laughter. Copperas Cove resident and small business owner Stephanie Beveridge said the chamber banquet was a great way for busy business owners to mingle and network.

“First of all, the chamber is amazing for the community. Betty and her team truly care about the businesses in Cove and want to see them flourish,” Beveridge said. “An event like this provides an opportunity for most business owners to come together in a casual environment to network and relax and enjoy one another’s company.”

Chamber award winners

  • Good Friend of the Chamber: AT&T and Whataburger
  • Best Supporter of the Chamber: Dominoe's
  • Chamber Small Business: Bill French Jewelers

To reach Azeita Taylor, the Copperas Cove Herald office at 254-501-7476.

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