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Chamber banquet set for Nov. 8

The Brookhaven business community’s annual celebration is Nov. 8, and at that gathering, the reigns of power will be passed to another.

Colby McMorris, incoming president of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, will take over the chamber’s leadership role in the “passing of the gavel” at the chamber’s annual banquet, which will be held at the Brookhaven Country Club on Nov. 8. His role at the head of the union of hometown businesses will begin officially on Jan. 1, and he’s ready to continue the work of promoting Brookhaven.

“Our goal for the chamber for the last few years has been to really make the chamber an asset to our community, to stay strong like we are, and to help promote more community events, push for more community awareness,” said McMorris, administrator of Riverwood Family. “One thing I’ve enjoyed the most is seeing people who care about Brookhaven and Lincoln County, and wanting to see the best of it, always, wanting to see it grow.”

McMorris will take the gavel during the banquet’s presentation and awards ceremony, which begins at 6:45 p.m. The chamber will also name and honor several community difference-makers during the event, giving out awards for Small Business of the Year, Agribusiness of the Year, Industry of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Officer of the Year, Educators of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Broma’s Deli was the 2017 Small Business of the Year, while Reed’s Metals was last year’s Industry of the Year.

The presentations will be preceded by a social hour beginning at 5:30 p.m., with music by Tyler Bridge, and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the event are available for chamber members for $20 each and can be purchased at the chamber, or by calling 601-833-1411.

McMorris will take over the presidency from outgoing leader Sam Sones, an insurance agent with Mississippi Farm Bureau. Sones said his successor is already well-prepared for the job after a year on the chamber’s executive committee and three years on the board of directors, and McMorris — like himself, a hometown man — will enjoy the job.

“It’s just a chance to kind of touch all things Brookhaven, to be on the scene and have your hands involved in everything Brookhaven,” Sones said. “You definitely have your hands full, and you are pretty busy at times, but it’s worth it. My encouragement for Colby is to just keep on keeping on.”

Chamber program director Katie Nations said the banquet draws between 75 to 100 local business owners, and while it will close the book on the chamber’s 85th year, it also serves to kickoff more events for the coming year.

The chamber’s Christmas Open House event is Nov. 10 and will feature more than 30 businesses and restaurants. The Christmas parade is Nov. 29, and move night on the lawn at the Mississippi School of the Arts is Dec. 1 — this year’s movie is “The Star,” a 2017 animated film based on the Nativity of Jesus.

The Mississippi Economic Council luncheon is at noon on Jan. 15 at Mitchell’s, and Brookhaven Day at the Capitol is Feb. 19. The annual legislative breakfast will be held later in March.