B-U Chamber of Commerce plans all-day online awards extravaganza

BUCKHANNON – Get your tickets now for a chance to win $1,000 or one of several other prizes at the 2021 Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce Virtual Annual Awards and Elimination event.

Tammy Reger, Director of the B-U Chamber of Commerce, said the event will be livestreamed via Facebook from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21.

“We’ll have our normal welcome from Skip [Gjolberg], who is our premier sponsor with St. Joseph’s Hospital, and then we’ll have a welcome from our president, which is currently Kathy McMurray,” Reger said. “Our elimination board will kick off and start running. All day we’ll draw raffles, then we’re going to do a $1,000 grand prize with the elimination board, and then along with that, we’re going to do our annual awards.”

Award presentations will start at 11 a.m. with the Organization of the Year.

“We’re going to tape those prior to the presentation, kind of like a Publishers Clearing House style event, where we’re going to show up at the business and last year’s winner will present the award to this year’s winner,” Reger said.

The Business of the Year will be announced at noon, Businesswoman of the Year at 1 p.m. and Businessman of the Year at 2 p.m.

The chamber typically depends on the annual awards banquet as a fundraiser, and with the pandemic limiting the ability to gather in-person, this year’s online format looks to mix things up with retaining much of what makes the banquet special.

“Our annual awards dinner is something our members across the state look forward to — it’s a sold-out event every year and it’s our largest fundraiser,” Reger said. “It’s really our only fundraiser for the year, so without that event, it puts the chamber in a hard spot. We’re still trying to have an event that we hope is going to be fun for our members to tune into.”

Tickets for the elimination board cost $20 and can be purchased from the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce office at 14 East Main Street or on their Facebook page. Anyone can enter — you don’t need to be a chamber member to participate.

“We have an Eventbright link on Facebook — you can find tickets on there, and they’re $20,” Reger said. “We are really hoping this might encourage residents or other people to participate without being a chamber member.”

Reger also said the chamber has adjusted their sponsorship system.

“In the past, we’ve had sponsorship levels that were platinum, gold and silver — those were our typical sponsorships,” Reger said. “We did switch it up a little bit this year. Since we are presenting and it’s going to be on video, we are doing award sponsors. Those type of sponsorships seem to be what people were asking about the most. You’ll see the award sponsored by Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber and another business or organization, and people seem to like that.”

For more information, please contact the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce at 304-472-1722 or info@buchamber.com.

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