Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Krazy Kudzu Follies 2012

Are you ready for that yearly event that makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts for days?

The Krazy Kudzu Follies is scheduled for March 1, 2, & 3rd at the DeKalb Theatre. Tickets go on sale February 6th. Cost is $15 each or 2 for $20.

Beth McKeehan will return as the producer this year. All new skits are being created. I have laughed so hard just listening to Beth describes what she has imagined for the songs.

The cast began practice this week. I want to extend my personal thank you to each of the participants. I realize the commitment of time that it takes to insure the success of the Follies.

Call the Chamber office 256-845-2741 for more information about the Krazy Kudzu Follies. Get your tickets early for the sellout performances.

The DeKalb County Children’s Advocacy Center play, “Guess Who’s Coming to Supper?” will begin on February 9th at the First Methodist Church Family Life Center.

Eddie McPherson has created another hilarious 2 act comedy play. Returning actors include Brian Baine, Tony Dobbs, and Ronnie Osborn.

Director Elizabeth Wheatly encourages everyone to get tickets early. If you want to volunteer as a waiter for the event, call the Center at 256-997-9700.

A memorial to the victims of the April 27th tornadoes will be constructed at the DeKalb County Coliseum. Ground breaking was held last Saturday. The anticipated date for the dedication and unveiling ceremony is April 27, 2012.

Donations for the memorial may be sent to The DeKalb County Tornado Monument/Memorial, P.O. Box 396, Rainsville, AL 35986.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chamber Banquet 2011 Award Recipients

The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the winners of the Business of the Year – Plasman Corp, LLC; and the Citizen of the Year – Cara Hoffman.

Even before the ribbon cutting was held to announce the opening of Plasman Corp, LLC, the automotive supplier became a viable community partner.

Within hours after the devastation of the April 27th tornadoes, Plasman Corp, LLC began their efforts to relieve some of the hurt of not only their employees but the community as a whole.

Basic essentials along with hundreds of man hours were provided by management and employees.

More than $100,000 was raised to help benefit DeKalb County residents impacted by the tornadoes. The funds were raised by the employees, Plasman’s corporate office and their vendors and suppliers.

The Citizen of the Year, Cara Hoffman, is being recognized for her efforts to improve the lives of many of our school children. The Back to School Fair has insured that these deserving children have a positive school year beginning with needed supplies.

Last year over 700 children received back to school supplies. Over 1300 meals were also provided to families during this program.

Cara is also very active in other aspects of our community. She served as the “Hair Stylist” for the Altrusa Club during the Boom Days children area. I have never seen so many kids looking like the characters from Whoville.

Cara recently celebrated her 45th birthday by completing 45 random acts of kindness. Her life is a true representation of a dedicated citizen of Fort Payne. She pays it forward on a daily basis.

Join others as the Fort Payne Chamber recognizes our 2011 award recipients at the annual banquet on January 19th at 6 PM at the DeKalb Theatre. Three on a Sting will provide a night of music and laughter. Tickets are $25 each. Call 256-845-2741 for more information.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Walter Weatherly -V.I. Prewett Lifetime Achievement Award winner

January 11, 2012
Carol Beddingfield
Executive Director

Chamber Chatter

This year marks the 60th year that Walter Weatherly has given his time and efforts to improving the community in which he lives.

Except for a short time frame of living in Scottsboro and Huntsville, Walter’s community service has been dedicated to Fort Payne.

After joining the Fort Payne Jaycees in 1952, he rose to the position of President in 1956. The state association awarded him the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award. In 1961, he served as an Alabama International Director. During his service as President of the 89 chapters of the Alabama Jaycees, Walter established many of the goals and objectives that are still followed today.

Recognizing his community involvement, Walter was named as one of the “Four Outstanding Young Men of Alabama.”

Walter’s professional career includes 21 years with State National Bank. He was named the “Outstanding Young Banker of Alabama” by the Alabama Bankers Association.

Two projects that are dear to Walter are the renovation of the Opera House and buildings and the DeKalb County Public Library.

Through his guidance and fund raising skills, the citizens of DeKalb County have the advantage of a first class library facility. Even today, Walter is fund raising to continue the Book Mobile program.

His 11 years of service as the Landmarks of DeKalb County House Manager for the Opera House has insured the preservation of this 1889 building. The Community Reception Hall and the Hosiery Museum will continue to play a part in the education of the history of Fort Payne.

The DeKalb County United Givers Fund was established in 1959 by an organizational committee with Walter serving as its first treasurer. Later that year, he became the president and fund drive chairman.

It is hard to say no to Walter during fund raising campaigns. The improvements to our city as well as the enhancements to the quality of life for our citizens can be seen in every project that he undertakes.

Walter continues to be involved in civic organizations today. He is a current member of the Fort Payne Kiwanis Club, director of the Mary C Weatherly Memorial Foundation, and member of Landmarks of DeKalb County.

Walter’s greatest commitment and service however is to his beautiful wife, LuAnn. The choices are easy when you love your life partner.

One of my heroes, V.I. Prewett, would be extremely proud that the Chamber is recognizing Walter Weatherly as this year’s recipient of an award that is given in his honor. Our community is better place because of the unselfishness of these two individuals.

Congratulations Walter Weatherly for being named the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce V.I. Prewett Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

On behalf of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Donna and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Under the leadership of President Brian Baine, the Chamber has experienced great success.

The first After Hours Block Party was held this year. Who would have dreamed that the Halloween Block Party would have more than 2000 people in attendance?

We hope the local businesses have benefited from the Chamber’s events. It is the number one goal of the Chamber to support our existing businesses.

The most recent event, the Fort Payne Christmas parade, had the largest attendance ever. I want to personally thank the Fort Payne Police Department for their efforts in protecting the participants as well as insuring the parade flowed smoothly.

It was an honor to have the Fort Payne Boys Soccer Team as the Grand Marshall. They truly represent our city in such a positive manner.

To the 300+ members of the Chamber, thank you for your continued support.

Our marketing contract with the City Council will be expanded in 2012. Our new campaign, “Fort Payne – the Coolest Place in Alabama” will begin in January.

If you have any ideas you would like to share with the Chamber, please contact us at 256-845-2741 or visit our website at

Still looking for that nativity scene? Check out the Chamber’s window. It has been part of the Christmas spirit of our city for more than 25 years.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

National Influenza Week

Have you had your flu shot? December 4-10 is National Influenza Week.

The purpose of this designated week is to make people aware that flu prevention is possible.

The Center for Disease Control recommends everyone to get the flu shot to prevent spreading the flu.

However, it is especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious complication or because they live with or care for people at high risk.

This group includes children younger than 5; adults 65 years and older; pregnant women; and people with certain medical conditions e.g. asthma, heart disease, kidney and liver disorders.

The flu shot cannot give you the flu. You might have a low grade fever, aches and a little soreness. Contact your doctor if symptoms are more severe.

Your doctor is the best to advise if you should get a vaccine.

What can you do to prevent catching the flu or a cold? Wash your hands thoroughly. Try singing 2 lines of the “Happy Birthday” song for the correct amount of time for washing.

Moderate exercise helps fight cold and flu. Join the Wills Valley Recreation or Fitness First for safe, indoor exercise options.

Flu shots are available at C & H Drugs at 1916 Gault Avenue, North.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas is in air, Fort Payne is no exception

Christmas is definitely in the air. After the shopping frenzy of Black Friday, everyone's attention turns to enjoying the events of the season.
The story of the first Christmas will be presented at the Tom Bevill Lyceum on the campus of Northeast Alabama Community College on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Under the direction of Christina Wise, this live nativity will unfold in song, action and word. Tickets are $5 each and will be available at the door.
The annual Fort Payne Christmas parade will be Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. The parade begins at 18th Street N. and continues to Third Street S.
If you want to enter a float or a vehicle in the parade, you must register by Monday. There is a charge of $25 if you are not a member of the chamber. There is no charge for floats. For more information, call the chamber at 256-845-2741.
We have had several inquires for equestrian teams and horse-drawn wagons to enter the parade. These types of entries would really add to the spirit of the parade.
However, the chamber's insurance carrier will not allow this type of entry. There have been several injuries from animals becoming uncontrollable due to the crowd noise or hit by objects from the crowd.
Horses must be certified in crowd control. Therefore, the exception to this rule is the Sheriff's Mounted Patrol.
Christmas in the Park will begin at 4 p.m. in City Park. Refreshments and entertainment will be provided.
The Fort Payne Film Society will present a Christmas movie in the DeKalb Theatre after the parade at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit the society's Facebook page.
Carol Beddingfield is the director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Make sure to save for Small Business Saturday

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Supporting them is a great way to help fuel the economy.
First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. The second annual Small Business Saturday will be Nov. 26.
Over the past two decades, small businesses have created 65 percent of new jobs. In fact, small local businesses are the largest employers nationally.
The overall message is to take pride in your community by spending locally.
The concept of Small Business Saturday was started by American Express. Being the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the U.S., the company wanted to support owners in growing their companies.
To entice even more shoppers, American Express is providing the card holder a $25 statement credit for shopping on Small Business Saturday.
You will need to register your American Express card and spend at least $25 with one of the registered Fort Payne businesses. All the information is online. Many of our businesses are participating in the event.
To register, visit the Small Business Saturday website or the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
These sites also have marketing ideas for the small business owners.
Last year's program drove millions of dollars to small businesses across the U.S.
According to Michael H. Shuman, author of the book "Going Local," "Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporation and back into the community where it belongs."
Carol Beddingfield is the director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce.