By Tony Farkas
COLDSPRING — The Coldspring Chamber of Commerce celebrated not only San Jacinto County’s best and brightest, but the return to pre-COVID form as well.
At the organizations annual banquet on Saturday, more than 40 winners in as many categories, from best restaurant to citizen of the year, received accolades for their efforts over the last year.
Teddy Elliot and Robert Elledge share the volunteer of the year award for 2022, while Shepherd’s Brenda Myers, director of the Community Impact Center, shared Citizen of the Year honors with Sandra Houston.
Yvonne Cones, a Coldspring Chamber member as well as president of the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, was named Board Member of the Year.
Chamber President Barbara Justice said she feels abundantly blessed to be able to speak with the people without a mask.
She also said the chamber’s accomplishments in the past year was like “a new beginning,” and compared this year and last year for effect.
For instance, she said, last year’s Best of Banquet was a small affair for chamber members only, and focused on business size, not individual business categories, as well as a few other individual positions. This year, the Best of awards were open to all businesses throughout the county, as it was in years past.
The chamber also was able to rekindle its lunch and learn program; gave out more scholarships ($7,700) than in other years; Wolf Creek Car Show had record attendance; Christmas on the Square was back at pre-COVID levels; and the office was remodeled to provide better services.
Justice said great and innovative things will be on the slate for 2023.
Rep. Earnest Bailes also spoke about the comings and goings of this year’s legislative session.