Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce President Alicia Menard is expecting a good crowd for this year’s Chamber banquet, to be held from 6 to 11 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.

And that’s a good thing, because the event is special to the chamber and those that belong to it.

“This event is a fundraiser that all the proceeds go back to benefit our members,” Menard said. “This is where we get a lot of our advertising dollars that we use to market our membership.”

This year, the Chamber made the decision to let non-members attend.

“We are very proud of our membership, the growth in our membership,” Menard said, “and we’re just proud of what we do for our community and the achievements, not only through our office, our staff and our volunteers, but also our membership. So, at this event, we have various awards that we give to our members, community volunteers, Chamber volunteers.

“Because of that, we wanted to have it open to non-members so that hopefully they could attend the event and it would really give them (the) opportunity (to see) what the Chamber does. Not only our mission and our purpose, but how our members truly benefit from being part of the Chamber.”

Among the awards being given at the banquet are small and large business and nonprofit organization of the year; the Jim French award for outstanding community partner; the Mark Peterson award for outstanding citizen of the year; the tourism partner of the year award; the outstanding new member award; the ambassador of the year and junior ambassador of the year awards; and the Milestone Award winners, recognizing those who have been members of the Chamber for 10, 25, and 50 years.

But the event isn’t just about recognition. After all, the theme this year is centered around Las Vegas.

“We have a company coming in out of Austin called Casino Nights. They provide the casino tables as well as trained dealers...they actually send their staff to Las Vegas to be trained, so they come in dressed to the hilt, it makes you really feel like you’re in a different place.

“We’ll have six blackjack machines, four slot machines, two roulette tables, two Texas Hold Em tables and two craps tables.”

Menard said winning chips at the tables would lead to better odds of winning a big prize during a raffle at the end of the night.

“For every dollar you win, you get a raffle ticket,” Menard said. “That gives the chance to win one of four prizes. Our largest prize is a trip for two to Vegas; and then we have a guided hunting tour, and a trip for two to Port Aransas.”

Menard said they are still determining the fourth prize, which could be a golf trip, tickets to a Round Rock Express game or some similar prize.

There will also be hourly door prizes, a 50/50 cash drawing, and a silent auction.

Social hour begins at 6 p.m., the dinner program begins at 7, and the casino night activities begin at 8 p.m.

Dress for the event is Texas casual. According to Menard, that’s “dressed up but definitely with a casual feeling.”

“This is definitely an important part of fundraising for us because it really is the one and only event we do directly for the Chamber and to 100% impact the membership and the things that we do to promote them.”

Menard said she was pleasantly surprised that about 160 people had RSVP’d for the event as of last week, and that they would definitely cut off any further ticket sales at 300.

For more information about the event, call the Chamber at 254-547-7571 or go to their website, www.copperascove.com.

254-501-7568 | dperdue@kdhnews.com

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