It’s Stew Time!
Preparations under way for 36th annual World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest
By Bill Elliott, Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce president

July 27, 2006 -- Registration is already under way for this year's 36th annual "World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest," which is set for Saturday, Sept. 16. Keith Shurtleff is the chairman of this year's stew contest, and he and his committee are already busy planning this year's event.

Registration forms are available at the Chamber office and may be picked up, mailed or faxed to anyone interested in competing in this year's contest. Call Jackie at 903-885-6515 for information on registration and contest rules.

Competing teams from last year have until Friday, Aug. 25, to confirm their stew site from last year. After that time, anyone wishing to change sites or any new cooking teams can stop by the Chamber and select a site -- first come, first served. 

And, don't forget the third annual "Great American Duck Race," which will take place at approximately 12:30 at the Civic Center "Aquaduck," immediately following the announcement of the stew winners. Ducks will again be available for $5 apiece, with the prize money set, again, at $500 for the winning duck, $250 for the second place duck, $100 for the third place duck and $50 for the "lame duck" which finishes last. Locations for purchasing a duck for the race will be announced in the near future.

The following time schedule will be observed for this year's stew event; Stew tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m.; service tents will open at 10:45 a.m. for attendees to obtain stew bowls, cheese, crackers, etc; judges' samples to be delivered to the judges' tent at 10:45 a.m.; stew will be served to the public beginning at 11 a.m. We request that all stew-cooking teams adhere to the above schedule.

We look forward to another big Hopkins County Fall Festival and World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest again this year, so hold the date -- Saturday, September 16.


The Chamber Ambassador Club held one ribbon cutting this past week, on Wednesday, July 26, at Broadway Insurance Agency, 1217 South Broadway St. Matthew and Leeta Mattison are the owners. Two other ribbon cuttings are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 1. At 10 a.m., there will be a ribbon cutting at 5 Star Learning Center, located at 2232 Highway 19 south. Robin Brown is the owner. Then, at 12 noon that same day, a ribbon cutting is scheduled at Maggie Mae's Gifts for Pets & People, located at 403 Gilmer St., owned by Maggie Mae Sherrow. The public is invited to attend these and all Chamber ribbon-cutting events.  


There will be a Chamber "Business After Hours" mixer this evening from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the offices of Century 21 First Group, CNB Mortgage and Mattison Allstate, all located at the corner of Linda Drive and Gilmer Streets. All Chamber members are encouraged to attend this networking event.


The Chamber of Commerce-facilitated High School Leadership Sulphur Springs class will begin its 14th year in September with an all-day Ropes Challenge Course. The Leadership Class curriculum will also include subsequent sessions each month concerning "Justice, Order & Politics" in Hopkins County; "Poverty, Crisis & Cultural Sensitivity," a session on "Education & Tomorrows Opportunities," an all-day session on "Ethical Decision Making in the Workplace & Society" and a class on "Local Tourism & Quality of Life" issues. Senior students from Sulphur Springs High School, as well as several from the county schools, participate in this popular study each year. Students applying for participation in this year's class include: from SSHS, Jordan Anderson, Bailey Blount, Cherish Bolton, Melissa Cutrell, Kiara Dial, Erica Dorsey, Amy Fite, Dustin Gideon, Charlie Ginn, Hope Grimes, Katie Hettich, Kelly Horton, Robby Jackson, Courtney Jamison, Whitney Kendrick, Cole Lancaster, Kylie Littlefield, Sloane Martin, Landon McCaig, Kristen McDonald, Ethan Mitchell, Whitnie Mitchell, Robby Moore, Kayla Morgan, Tarra Morton, Graham Northcutt, Krista Pace, Rhyannon Page, Tyler Rascoe, Chad Rocker, Brandon Sandlin, Jordan Smith, Kendall Smith, K.C.Smith, Carley Stewart, Alex Williamson, Katie Watson, and Lauren Young; from North Hopkins, Steven Crocker and Brian Vaughn; from Como-Pickton, Gayle Spearman and Jensen Mabe; from Sulphur Bluff, John Andrews.

Sponsors who have contributed monetary support for this year's class include Northeast Texas Farmers Co-op, Alliance Bank, Winzen Film Inc., Grocery Supply Company, Fidelity Express, and Morris and Patsy Bolton. Additional sponsors are still needed for this popular program, which is considered a co-curricular class by the Sulphur Springs Independent School District due to the valuable educational content of Leadership Sulphur Springs classes, so absences from daily classes do not count against the students who participate. Call the Chamber at 903-885-6515 if your business is interested in sponsoring this valuable Leadership training for our county young people.

While we're on the subject of Leadership Sulphur Springs, it's time to register for the Adult Leadership Sulphur Springs Class of 2006-2007. Anyone who is new to the area or has never attended one of the Leadership Sulphur Springs courses could benefit by attending this year.  There are nine sessions (one day per month) and each session covers a different area of study about our community. Law enforcement, the judicial system, schools, hospital, etc., are each covered in these monthly sessions. Tuition is $350 for the entire course, which includes a trip to Austin to explore our state government and Legislature. Contact the Chamber for an application for Adult Leadership Sulphur Springs. Classes are limited to 21 participants, so, don't wait -- sign up today.


The Still Meadows Dairy of Pickton will host an open house tour of facilities this Saturday, July 28, beginning at 10 a.m. Anyone wishing to see a new style of milking parlor is invited to attend. This rotary system allows the operator to milk 80 cows at a time, increasing the efficiency of this 2,500 cow dairy operation. The open house is free to the public and is a come-and-go event. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. The dairy is south of Interstate 30. Take the Weaver exit off I-30, head south on FM 269, approximately 7 miles to CR 2333. Turn right, go 1.5 miles, and go right at CR 2346. 

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