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Elgin Chamber celebrates past, future at banquet

The Elgin Chamber of Commerce celebrated its past and future Saturday.

The chamber held its annual banquet at the Medicine Park Music Hall, where it recognized its 2017 officers and introduced the 2018 officers. Benne Brewer returns for a second year as president. Tim Hushbeck stepped aside as vice president to give that job to Matthew Brown. Melissa Dawson remained as treasurer and Debi DeSilver was named as secretary.

As everyone enjoyed dinner catered by the Old Plantation Restaurant, chamber member Debbie McDonald stepped in front of the crowd to recognize the military family of the year. Amy and Wes Carter were recognized for their efforts among the community. A lieutenant colonel in the Army, Carter and his wife were overcome with emotion when they accepted the award  only the second such given. Their son, Charles Carter, an eighth-grader at Elgin Middle School, was recently awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for Oklahoma. McDonald said the the sense of civic duty is prevalent throughout the family.

Leslie Durham, last year's citizen of the year, was given the task of naming this year's honoree, Rachael Jones. Durham told the crowd of Jones' endless hours of contributions to the Elgin Animal and the Elgin senior center. She's also dedicated time to Meals on Wheels, where she's helped deliver warm meals to those who can't get out of their homes.

Jones, who was in tears as she was handed her plaque, said she never wanted accolades or honors. She just wanted to help people.

"I do it because it's the right thing to do," she said. "I care about our community and I want to make it better."

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