JEFFERSON — The Marion County Chamber of Commerce will honor area businesses, nonprofits and individuals during its upcoming second annual Golden Nail Membership Gala at Enoch’s Stomp Winery and Vineyard in Harleton this month.
The event, which the chamber started in 2019, honors the work of Marion county businesses, individuals and nonprofits throughout the past year.
“We developed this last year with the idea of honoring all nonprofits, businesses and individuals in Marion county that do so many wonderful things for our community throughout the year,” Marion County Chamber Executive Director Kari Alexander said on Monday.
Alexander said the name and idea for the gala was inspired by a quote from one of the country’s founders, Benjamin Franklin.
“For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For the want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For the want of a horse, the rider was lost. For the want of a rider, the battle was lost. For the want of a battle, the kingdom was lost — and all for the want of a horseshoe-nail,” Franklin is quoted as writing.
Alexander said the gist of Franklin’s proverb is that every has their part.
“The whole Golden Nail idea comes from Benjamin Franklin’s proverb which is really talking about how, if the smaller parts of a whole are ignored, without any encouragement or incentive, they could all die out,” Alexander said. “We all contribute and everybody matters.”
The gala will recognize and honor the work of those businesses, non-profits and individuals in the community who made a difference the past year.
This year’s gala will feature 40 businesses, individuals and nonprofits who were nominated by community members in an open nomination process.
The nominees will then be judged by an outside organization, this year the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, and winners presented in eight different and specific categories.
“Last year we had six different categories of awards and this year, we’ve added two additional award categories,” Alexander said. “We sent all of the nominations to the Texarkana Chamber to be juried to ensure an open and fair awarding process with no bias. Last year we had the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce judge the nominees.”
The award categories this year include six awards for area nonprofits, the new award for the (for-profit) business of the year, and the new award for the citizen of the year.
The awards are: the Golden Nail Port Jefferson Outpost Distinguished Individual Volunteer Award (non-secular), the Golden Nail Dickson Up and Coming Volunteer Award, the Golden Nail Otstott Distinguished Organization Award, the Golden Nail McKay Foundation Benefactor Award, the Golden Nail Jefferson Jimplecute Individual Benefactor Award, the Golden Nail Marion County Distinguished Individual Volunteer Award (secular), the Business of the Year Award and the Citizen of the Year Award.
The gala event, which is set for 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard and Winery in Harleton, will include a dinner and wine cash bar, followed by the presentation of the awards.
Alexander said this year’s event has grown in both nominees and expected attendance and she hopes the event will continue to grow each year.