The Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet at the South Carolina National Guard Armory on Speedway Road in Fountain Inn. It was the first banquet organized by the chambers new president Whitney Ferguson. “I was very impressed with the turnout and support the chamber received for my first banquet,” said Ferguson. “I wanted to make sure our city was well represented for the Governors visit and it was!”
In addition to the record attendance, the chamber was able to enjoy the support of a record number of sponsors. Many of those sponsors and representatives were in attendance at the banquet.
After a short introduction, the presentation of colors was offered by Scout Troop 48 leading chamber members in the Pledge of Allegiance. Invocation was offered by Rev. Samuel Flint of the Mount Zion Baptist Church.
After recognizing guests and sponsors Ferguson recognized David Hammond of the Laurens Electric Cooperative. He presented the chamber with a grant of $2000 to be used to benefit the community. President Ferguson chose to split the grant between 3 entities serving the area. The Center for Community Services would receive $1000 to complete the renovation of their medical waiting area. This would include new flooring, furniture, toys and paint. The Fountain Inn fire Department received $500 to purchase Jacob kits to be put in the Fountain Inn Elementary classrooms. These are small trauma kits in case of school shootings or other violence. Another $500 was awarded to the Fountain Inn Athletic Department to purchase a hydration station for Woodside Park. The watering station would aid in keeping our youth hydrated whether playing baseball, football or soccer.
John Mahony presented the 2018 chairman, Gwen Kinard, and she spoke of the chamber expectations for the New Year.
Gov. McMaster is no stranger to Fountain Inn. He helped celebrate the opening of the downtown renovations three years ago as Lieut. Governor. To welcome him back, South Carolina State House Representative, Mark Willis, was asked to introduce the Chamber’s guest speaker. Representative Willis however admitted that he was given an assigned text to use while introducing the governor and admitted that he chose not to use the canned version. Rather, he said in his opinion Gov. McMaster not only looks like he should be South Carolina’s Governor…he sounds like South Carolina’s Governor! With a standing ovation the Governor was introduced and began to speak to the crowd of over 260 attendees.
Gov. McMaster spoke of the exciting economic strides the state of South Carolina has been fortunate to experience, recognizing the major accomplishments in jobs and manufacturing along with the brisk housing business. The governor noted that the natural resources in South Carolina are so abundant compared to other states. He mentioned deepwater ports and inland waterways, and our inland port. He spoke of the enhancements scheduled to be done to our interstate systems and was proud to report that unemployment had reached an historic low. Also, throughout his speech he wove in examples of South Carolina’s rich heritage and history. His entire speech was a tribute to South Carolina’s past, present, and future!♦