Meredith Caddell (right) has officially taken over the reins as director of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce. Retiring Chamber President Bill Elliott (left) finished his 16 years at the helm Friday.
File Photo

On a final note ...

Billy Sam Elliott pens a final Hopkins County Stew column to say thanks to all who helped during his 16-year tenure as Chamber director

BILL ELLIOTT, Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce President

(Editor's Note: For more than a decade and a half, Billy Sam Elliott, the executive director of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, has written Hopkins County Stew for the News-Telegram, a column to enlighten folks on what's going on and what's coming up at the Chamber. This is his final column, transmitted late Friday on his last day as leader of the Chamber before retiring and handing the keys over to his successor, Meredith Caddell.)

Ice Cream Freeze-Off,

Leadership Class applications available now

The Adult Leadership Class Sulphur Springs of 2008 is now forming. Anyone interested in participating in this class should call Lynda Hager at Guaranty Bond Bank, 903-885-3193, to register.

Ice Cream Freeze-Off Chair Linda Henton has asked me to remind you that we still need competitors in the Texas State Champion Homemade Ice Cream Freeze-Off, to be held on Saturday, June 14, during the Hopkins County Dairy Festival. Call Debbie at the Chamber at 903-885-6515 to request a registration form.

Eighty-five applications have been received for the 40 available spaces in the 2008-2009 Chamber-sponsored High School Leadership Class. Applications will be processed, and those students who are selected for the class will be notified by the end of the school year.

A Final Note ...

Well, time really flies when you're having a good time. It surely doesn't seem like I've been at the Chamber for 16 years ... but I have.

I want to thank the Chamber Ambassador Club for the big send-off they held this past Thursday night ... and thanks to everyone who stopped by to wish me well in my retirement.

Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County are truly fortunate to have the caliber of folks who so willingly volunteer whenever some need arises or when something needs taking care of. In my 16 years at the Chamber, I've never run into a shortage of volunteer help -- there's always someone willing to do what's necessary to get the job done.

We have such an outstanding support system here ... everyone works together, and that's what makes living in Sulphur Springs so great!

The local news media are also a large part of that support system, always available to promote whatever worthwhile project is going on at the time. I want to thank Bill Bradford and the folks at KSST Radio Channel 18 ... Scott and Bruce and the staff of the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram ... and KSCH radio for their support ... and simply ask that they continue that support for Meredith as she embarks on her Chamber career.

I'd also like to thank the more than 125 caring and devoted citizens who have served as Chamber directors during my time here, and the 16 who have so ably served as Board Chairmen/women. Thanks also to Marie Aaron, Doris Kelsey, Pam Harder, Jackie Petter and Debbie Swingle, who, as Chamber office managers, have been my right arm for all these 16 years.

And my thanks to Mel Price, and his search committee who, back in 1992, selected me over the 13 other applicants, providing me the opportunity to serve my community in this position.

And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my bride, Rickie, my sons, and the rest of my family, who have always provided me with their unfaltering support, no matter what inane activity with which I chose to involved myself. I love you all.

I want to thank the entire Chamber membership for all your support -- and it is my hope that God will continue to shower His blessings on Hopkins County, Texas.

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