Distillers Caroline and Robbie Delaney will receive the EPIC Award.
Ted Hall, President Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce
A McAdenville business started in the aftermath of the Great Depression, an entrepreneurial young couple whose business is less than five years old and a recent retiree who has served his community for decades will be recipients of awards from the Montcross Area Chamber at its 56th Celebration and Annual Meeting Thursday February 4th at the Municipal Building in Mt. Holly. Award recipients were chosen by the Chamber Board of Directors after a committee reviewed all submitted nominees. The Board of Directors takes pride in announcing those chosen to receive awards for 2015.
Wells Fargo Bank will present the Chamber's Business of the Year Award to Pharr Yarns. Innovation, diversification and a unique bond between a company and its community have enabled Pharr Yarns to survive and thrive while most businesses in its industry have failed over the past 25 years. From its beginning in 1933, Pharr Yarns has embraced a philosophy linking its success to that of the Town of McAdenville. The Christmastown, USA lights in December are the most well-known example, but they are just one of dozens of ways the company has contributed to improving the economy and quality of life in McAdenville. Wells Fargo Bank will present the Chamber's Business of the Year Award to Pharr Yarns.
The Chamber's EPIC Award, sponsored this year by Cottage Keepers, is presented to individuals who through their business have demonstrated that they are "Entrepreneurial, Progressive, Innovative and Collaborative." Caroline and Robbie Delaney meet all of those qualifications and more, as the young couple has become leaders in the growing distillery industry in North Carolina. Four years ago they obtained the first rum distillery permit issued in the state and one of the first five distillery permits of any kind. From a small 500-square-foot space in the Riverside Complex in Belmont, they have grown to more than 5,000 square feet. Last year, they helped their industry change state law so their Muddy River Distillery, and all others in North Carolina, now can sell limited amounts of their products to visitors who tour their facilities.
More than four decades of service to Gaston County and its communities, especially Cramerton and Belmont, make retired State Farm Insurance executive Art Shoemaker a most deserving recipient of the Chamber's Public Service Award, named for a founder of the Chamber and a highly respected judge who embraced public service in all areas of his life. After a lifetime of giving back, Art Shoemaker chose to take on another mission at a time when many are content to retire quietly. He recruited a team and together they raised more than $80,000 to relocate a historic World War II memorial statue ("Fighting Yank") to a more visible site in Belmont's Stowe Park. For his devotion to service over a long business career, the Chamber and award sponsor Creative Solutions Special Events will present the Public Service Award to Art Shoemaker.An art exhibit titled "Four Seasons" by Gaston County artist Roy Lindsay will be the second to be shown in the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce Gallery in the Stowe Building in downtown Belmont.
Keep Belmont Beautiful is sponsoring a reception to open the exhibit on Thursday, Jan. 28th from 4:30 until 6 PM. The exhibit will then be open weekdays 9 - 5 until April 1st. The Gaston Arts Council coordinates exhibits at the Chamber Gallery. Some of the more than 600 children in the Stanley Youth Sports Program got to help break ground for a new gymnasium at Harper Park, where they will be playing basketball in a few months. The Town of Stanley is backing financing for the project through Park Sterling Bank, but grants and private donations are expected to cover most of the cost of the gym. Harper Park, which opened three years ago, was paid for entirely through contributions and grants. Stanley Mayor Andrew Quinley, Recreation Director Tug Deason and other state and local officials including NC State Representative John Torbett and County Commissioner Chad Brown participated in the ceremony, but the show was stolen by the children when they donned hard hats and picked up shovels to help with the building of their gymnasium. John and Jennifer Church and Robert Settle and Bob Smith hosted Chamber members for networking at their new offices in the South New Hope Business Center. Chyrch Realty and Commercial Carolina were hosts for the first Networking After Work of 2016.The Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce serves the fast growing eastern portion of Gaston County including Belmont, Stanley, McAdenville, Lowell, Cramerton & Mt. Holly. The office is located at 100 North Main Street in Belmont. For information including how to become a member, call the Chamber at 704-825-5307.
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