A crowd of 150 attended the 2018 Barnesville Area Chamber of Commerce Spring Banquet on April 26 at the Elks Ballroom.

Jill Stephen, office manager, devotes much of her time over a three-month period planning the event. The successful event also involves many volunteers

Those participating included the BHS Chorus and their director Brianna Warner who led the audience in the National Anthem. The Color Guards of the Barnesville VFW and Barnesville American Legion posts led the Pledge of Allegiance. Members of the "Tooldawgs of Barnesville", a local traveling baseball team, cleared tables and refilled drinks.

Sound, Music and stage décor provided by The Market at Ebbert Farms, owned by chamber members and local residents Andy and Erica Barricklow. Chris Mellinger and Norma Cunningham catered the event.

Keynote speaker Sue Timmons Busler’s words of wisdom, peppered with humor, were taken to heart by the audience. In the words of one veteran chamber banquet attendee, "Sue received one of the longest standing ovations in memory."

Chamber Citizen of the Year Bill Strous was unable to attend the banquet. His presentation occurred earlier at Emerald Pointe where he is in rehab. A review of Bill’s community service was shared while a large poster photo of the awardee was prominently positioned in the ballroom. In absentia, Strous received sustained applause.

Seating at the event for a second year featured two tables joined together, a design better facilitating conversation. Chamber office manager Jill Stephen reports the seating arrangement "is a hit!"

Chamber President John Rataiczak, who served as master of ceremonies, shared that 50 new members have joined since last year’s banquet, a reflection of the local economy and good work of work of the organization.

Many chamber member businesses donated door prizes and auction items for the evening.