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Examiner
  • Independence Chamber banquet Jan.. 16

  • Eighty-nine is a big number. And the Independence Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating its 89th Annual Banquet on Jan. 16, at the Hilton Garden Inn on East Jackson Drive in Independence. This is the chamber’s business social highlight of the year and black tie is optional.

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  • Eighty-nine is a big number. And the Independence Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating its 89th Annual Banquet on Jan. 16, at the Hilton Garden Inn on East Jackson Drive in Independence. This is the chamber’s business social highlight of the year and black tie is optional.
    This year’s theme is “Home Town Stars.” According to Penny Kruse, chamber membership director, the theme was originally “All That Jazz,” but it was learned that another non-profit recently used that theme for its yearly gala, so it was changed. The main sponsor of the event is Centerpoint Medical Center, Independence.
    The banquet committee, chaired by Terri Steele, of Evans & Steele Financial, chose “Home Town Stars” as the theme to honor local businesses, individuals, and organizations that have had major accomplishments during 2009. They will be acknowledged with special recognition during the gala evening.
    Hometown companies
    Some of the hometown companies with outstanding accomplishments are:
    • Centerpoint Medical Center, received a five-star rating for coronary bypass surgery, total hip replacement and hip fracture repair and is ranked No. 5 in Missouri for cardiac surgery and orthopedic services.
    •  The city of Independence spearheaded the new Independence Events Center, which opened Nov. 7, with 5,800 seats, an ice skating rink, and plans to host more than 100 events annually.
    • The Missouri Mavericks hockey team is a new ice hockey team with the Central Hockey League and calls the Events Center home.
    • IBS Industries, a sheltered workshop, celebrated its 40th Anniversary.
    Others that will be recognized are the Independence School District, Independence Council for Economic Development, ATK, as well as Joe Seabrooks, Metropolitan Community Colleges-Blue River.
    Hometown speaker
    In selecting the speaker, Kruse said it is done by chamber staff.
    “The choice was for Frank White Jr. of the Kansas City Royals. I thought he would be a perfect fit for our hometown theme,” she said.
    White is a Kansas City native and graduate of Lincoln High School. He was one of the most decorated second basemen in baseball history during his 18-year playing career with the Royals. He won eight Gold Gloves and was a five-time All-Star and a two-time Royals Player of the Year. White was named American League Championship Series most valuable player, helping Kansas City to its first ever World Series appearance in 1980. Currently, most are familiar seeing him in the broadcast booth as a Royals television analyst. He will continue this role as well as a senior adviser for the Royals, taking part in numerous community and marketing endeavors.
    Member recognition
    Another highlight of the evening, includes the annual chamber awards in the following categories, “Board Member of the Year,” “Distinguished Service Award,” “Honorary Lifetime Membership,” and “Citizen of the Year.” Kruse reminds us that the recipients aren’t announced until that evening.
    Page 2 of 2 - Decoration sponsors
    Ambience lends to the atmosphere of any affair and the hard-working committee is not telling what the table decorations will be.
    “It just adds to the glamour of the evening,” said Kruse. “Many thanks go to Judy Forrester, Roberta Coker, and Patty Schumacher for organizing this part of the evening as well as thanks to sponsors, UMB Bank and MeraVic, a wholesale artificial florist.”
    Dinner served
    The Hilton always puts out an extravagant display of food for the banquet, and this year is no exception. It’s catered from the Hereford House, where beef is king. The menu will include roast sliced beef tenderloin with port wine demi-glace and blackened chicken breast with mashed potatoes and green beans. Dessert you could die for! Would you believe a mousse trio dessert featuring milk chocolate, white chocolate and peanut butter mousse.
    Reservations
    Tickets are $70 per person and a cash bar available. Cocktails start at 6:15 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Call Penny Kruse, at the chamber, 816-252-4745 to reserve your space or a table for your company.

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