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Murray Chamber Members Party Like They Did in High School

Mar 09, 2016 01:36PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Saundra Stroope | saundra@mycityjournals.com

Murray - Murray Chamber members and guests partied like they did in high school for the third annual Murray Chamber Gala. The theme for this year’s fundraising event was to come as you were in high school. Wendy Kelly, chamber board member and gala chair, said the goal for the event was “to recognize those in Murray businesses that contribute to the chamber and the community.”

 “It’s an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to businesses and to say ‘thank you’ in a public forum,” Kelly said. 

Funds raised from this annual event will be used to provide more business resources for chamber members. The planning committee wasn’t completely certain how the unique theme would fare, knowing there are some people who would clearly prefer not to return to high school, but it appears to have been a huge success, according to Kelly. The event had a record 133 guests in attendance, the highest yet for the gala. 

“We sold more tables than we ever have before,” Kelly said. 

Chamber member Hannah Cutler thought the event was great and well put together.  

“The food was great. The DJ was fantastic. The DJ did a great job of keeping the energy up. It was a very fun, high-energy event,” Cutler said.  

Gala attendees who dressed for the event sported outfits ranging from mullets to athletic letter jackets, boyfriend sweaters, 70s hippie-style headbands and complete Gothic wear. Kelly said it was also interesting to see how a person who attended high school in another country like Scotland would wear a Gothic-style outfit very similar to the Gothic style in America. At least one participant brought along a high school yearbook photo, and the tables for the event were decorated with yearbook-style photographs and high school memorabilia. 

The theme for next year’s gala may be different, but Kelly said the planning committee intends to keep the same pricing and casual, simple, fun style for the event.

“Having events like the gala are extremely important. [The chamber provides] huge support to Murray’s economic growth,” Kelly said.  

The gala also provided a forum for the mayor and city council to engage with members and non-member attendees in an informal and fun environment. And it was an opportunity for individuals to get out of the office and have face-to-face conversations.

“It’s not just about building business relationships; it’s about building relationships [in the community],” Kelly said. 

The program featured a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner, awards ceremony, dancing and karaoke. Awards were given to Simone Soffee-Black, Chamber Champion; Jennifer Brass, Community Hero; Security Guru, Small Business; Costco, Community Service; and Brio, Big Business.    

Catering and appetizers for the event were provided by California Pizza Kitchen, Brio, Chick-Fil-A, Couscous, Red Lobster and Have Party Will Travel. Bar service and bartending were provided by Distillery 36, Red Rock Brewing and Melange. Sponsors for the event were Larry H. Miller Lexus, the Cutler Team, Columbia College, Memorial Mortuary, Murray City and Murray Women in Business.

This year’s gala raised approximately $2,800 profit through ticket sales and the silent auction. To learn more about the Murray Chamber to become a member, visit the website at http://www.murraychamber.org/  

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