On behalf of the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, staff and the Atlanta Legislative Fish Fry Committee, we would like to thank our community for the support they gave for the 25th annual Legislative Fish Fry.
Not only did our businesses, organizations and individuals give monetarily, but most of all, they gave of their time. They left Cordele early on the day of the fish fry and returned home late that night, after putting in a full day’s work.
We had volunteers who set up displays (Darton College, South Georgia Technical College, Southwest Ga. United, SAM Shortline, Friends of Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park, The Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club and the Crisp County Higher Education Committee).
Thanks to Jerry Carney, vice chair of public affairs and the chairman of the Atlanta Legislative Fish Fry Committee for his leadership in putting this event together.
We had over 125 volunteers who helped perform various duties at the event. Kim Gunnells (our chief decorator from Crisp County Middle School) transformed the Depot into a place of beauty using the 25th Anniversary theme.
She used pictures from the past 24 years as part of the decorations.
We had many volunteers who cooked the 300 pounds of catfish, hundreds of hushpuppies (donated by Captain D’s). Heading the cookers was James Gilliam (who was named the chamber’s volunteer of the year for 2012).
We had volunteers who helped greet and host, with leadership from Angie Ellis of PlantersFirst. Volunteers assisted with the name tag table, which was chaired by Gail Reynolds.
Chamber Chairman Richard Grogg ( Sunbelt Ford-Cordele) and Past Chairman Eli Tinsley (PlantersFirst) handled coordinating the interviews which were covered by WSST-DT51 (Rick & Jacob Smarr).
The event was held on Feb. 6 at the Georgia Railroad Depot in downtown Atlanta. This event started 25 years ago as a way to promote our community and communicate our needs to the legislators.
Over the past 25 years, our community has had much development and growth due to this event. The first project was the building of the 18-hole golf course at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park which was followed by the conference center, lodging, marina and grill at the State Park.
We then asked for funding for a satellite center of South Ga. Technical College and just a few years after it was built, we asked and received funding for an expansion to that facility.
We also have received funding for the S.A.M. Shortline Excursion Train, railroad improvements for the HOG Railroad and for the Cordele Inland Port as well as funding for many industries, which have located here over the last 25 years.
This year we primarily thanked the legislators for their support of our community over the last 25 years, but we did ask them to include funding in their budget for $2 million each in economic development funds for the Cordele Higher Education Center and DCA Boomtown Program.
This fish fry was dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Ovis Stephens who was an ambassador for our community her whole life and attended every fish fry until her death. She was sorely missed at the event this year.
Special thanks to John Watford (South Ga. Technical College) for providing the training session for volunteers who attended the fish fry as well as driving a van for some of our volunteers.
Thank you to the Youth Build workers led by Ronnie Cason, who attended and help prepare the fish for cooking and then helped clean up afterwards.
Also, special thanks to Gary Youngblood with the CCPC for all that he did from preparing the cookers, filling propane tanks, to loading and unloading, cooking and cleaning up. We also appreciate Chuck Christmas of Marvair pulling a new trailer donated by Big Tex Trailers to and from the event.
A big thank you goes to our many sponsors: Platinum - Big Tex Trailers, City of Cordele, Crisp County Board of Commissioners, Crisp County Power Commission, Stripling’s General Store;
Gold - Craig Cotton, Attorney at Law, Friends of Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park, Cordele-Crisp Tourism, The Lake Blackshear Resort, Impact Sports & Fitness, Woodard’s Nursery, Colony Bank;
Silver - Michelle Smith, Attorney at Law, Easter Seals of Southwest Georgia, South Georgia Technical College, Darton College, Crisp Regional Health Services, WSST-TV, Ameris Bank, South Georgia Banking Company, Cook Industrial Electric, Norbord, Helena Industries, Culpepper-Wade Oil, Marvair, State Farm Insurance, First Franklin Financial, Melody Godfrey Insurance, Lawson & Reid LLC, Attorneys at Law,
Also, Williams-Pitts Oil, Heart of Georgia Railroad, Rainey Family Funeral Home, Harris Waste Management Group, Mike Fraser’s Auto Repair, Crumley’s Construction Company, Purchasing Alliance Solutions, Friends of S.A.M. Shortline, S.A.M. Shortline Excursion Train;
Also, Ricky Smith, Gene Ford, Crisp Area Arts Alliance, Harvey’s Supermarket, Pridgen Brothers, Captain D’s, Pepsi Cola, Georgia Cotton Commission, Georgia Peanut Commission, Cordele Public Works, Crisp Co. Public Works, Crisp Co. School System, and the Cordele/Crisp Industrial Development Council.
Special thanks to Rep. Buddy Harden and Sen. Dickie Crosby for all they did to help make the event a success and all they do for our community.
The chamber is grateful for those who helped make this a successful event, which showcased our community to several hundred guests.
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