On Jan. 20, the Memorial Hall was full of people from the community for the Annual Carthage Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

On Jan. 20, the Memorial Hall was full of people from the community for the Annual Carthage Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

And random reader, you should care.

The formal scene usually isn't my cup of tea, honestly. But once again, the Carthage Chamber provided a pleasant event to attend. It was a time for celebration of the community's growth and shared optimism for the future. Locals cheered several jobs well done by their peers, and philanthropists were honored.

From my perspective, there are some common misconceptions about the annual banquet. I want to do my part in squashing those rumors.

Are the people who attend the banquet the only ones who matter in this town? Oh gosh no, but they represent Carthage well.

Are they the only ones who work hard in this area? Of course not.

Are their accomplishments the only ones seen? Not in my opinion.

Carthage is blessed with countless individuals, families and business owners who honestly work hard and try to do the right thing every day. I've seen many volunteers at the Carthage Crisis Center, Salvation Army and (recently came to my attention) the River Street Food Pantry who spend a lot of time and effort without wanting or expecting the slightest bit of recognition. And there are numerous other organizations throughout this town, and region for that matter, that can tell you the same thing. People in our part of America are just generous, and most of the time, do kind deeds because that's why we're put on this earth – to help each other.

I know the people at our Carthage Chamber, and they would award every single deserving person if they could. But here's the thing, you can't honor what you don't know about. So … if you know of someone genuinely awesome, who gives and gives without wanting anything of themselves, it's up to you to honor them. Show your peers, your volunteers, your hard workers how much they're appreciated because it's not the Chamber's responsibility to award those individuals – it's their responsibility to promote them.

And they certainly did promote them at that banquet. I've never seen so many well-deserving people get so embarrassed and tickled that someone thought of them. My favorite would have to be the recipient of the 2012 ATHENA Award, Dr. Soriano, who practices at Carthage Eye Care. Her amazing charities in Haiti are beyond inspiring, and I can say from personal experience, she is the sweetest and hard working optometrist I've ever seen (pardon the pun).

My only setback from the evening was that I didn't get a chance to tell Patrick Scott, at Arvest Bank, how much I appreciate all he does for this community. He's involved in many issues, one in particular I'm proud of is the new SNAG program that will soon be implemented into the elementary schools. Because of Patrick's grant writing, Carthage will be able to teach golf to K-4 in regular P.E. class. How awesome is that!? Well, to me it's awesome.

And all of the people who received awards that evening at the banquet are awesome people who deserved to be recognized. I applaud them, and the Chamber for a wonderful event.

Our family is doing well, by the way. Baby Nolan is teething a lot, standing with support from random objects around him, the boy loves to eat and chase our cat. Maybe next week I'll have more to report, so until next time – thanks for reading.