“Look at the fence at the ballpark, whose names do you see?” Anzaldua asked. “Our businesses are the backbone of the county.”
Although the decor’s theme was “Boots and Bling,” the chamber‘s message was “Invest in Refugio County.”
The First National Bank of Woodsboro was named Chamber Member of the Year, and served as Anzaldua’s example.
“During these hard economic times, the bank opened a branch in Refugio to serve the citizens of the county,” Anzaldua said.
The bank branch opened near the end of 2009 on U.S. 77 and several new additional bank employees were hired.
Arlen Fehner, president of the bank, invited the community to visit the locally owned bank and announced that money is available for loans at the new branch.
“Our businesses need the loyalty of the residents,” Anzaldua said. “Before you go out of town to spend your money, remember what you spend out of town stays out of town; what you spend here helps everyone.”
Music was provided throughout the evening by a host of local talent, beginning with Marcia Peterson and her daughter, Brittney Wade, who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to kick off the program after veterans with VFW Post 6290, Jeff Steele, Willie Brown and Art Loya, posted the colors.
As a tribute to the late Jack Sportsman, who served as the emcee for the banquet for many years, Peterson also sang “Amazing Grace.”
Carl Barnhart, Bobcat sportswriter for the Refugio County Press, also received a round of applause for his 40 plus years of reporting the play-by-play action.
All the entertainment was provided by local talent including vocalist Kasie Fierova and the Fierova Band of Woodsboro, young singer Ali Coscetti of Refugio and D.J. Tommy Ponce.
Anzaldua said he recently returned from Washington, D.C., where he learned that students in the county may apply for scholarships through a website.
“I urge all Refugio County students to log onto fastweb.com,” Anzaldua said. “There is scholarship money out there. Find a way to tap into those resources.”