For the fist time in at least the last four years, the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet is sold out.
PACC Executive Director Tonya Baumgartner said the last ticket was sold on Monday, Jan. 29.
“We’ve sold all 216 tickets to the event,” Baumgartner said. “We’ve also had a lot more sponsors this year. We’re at 16 sponsors and we had half that last year. I’ve even had to turn away sponsors so we could have had more.”
The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 17 at The Lodge at Mount Magazine State Park. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a social hour followed by the banquet and the awards program. The guest speaker is Walt Coleman of Little Rock, a long-time NFL referee.
The event will also include a gun raffle and silent auction.
While Baumgartner said the sell out is good news, there is a downside to it.
“I’ve had to tell people, we don’t have tickets for you,” she said. “We’ve got award nominees and we’ve had to tell them we don’t have tickets for their families. One of the winners’ family called and wanted 10 tickets and I didn’t have them.”
Awards to be handed out are Youth of the Year, Educator of the Year, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Community Volunteer of the Year, Chamber Member of the Year, the Vic Bockstadter Humanitarian of the Year, Farm Family of the Year and Tourism Person of the Year.