Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer

The Franklin Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting nominations for four prestigious awards, The Duke Power Citizenship and Service Award, Youth Citizenship Award, Citizen of the Year and Club/Organization of the Year that will be presented at the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

“I have been attending the Annual Banquet since 1982 but I’m sure there were banquets and awards before then,”  said Franklin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Harbuck.  “We have a list of award recipients from 1995 on.  The Duke Citizenship & Service Award began in 2004 and the Youth Award began in 2013.”

The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes an individual who significantly contributes to the community and is an inspirational role model. This is the most coveted award given by the Chamber of Commerce.

The Duke Power Citizenship and Service Award recognizes and rewards leadership and/or involvement in volunteerism and community services to an individual, team or group.  Recipients of the award help foster a culture of citizenship and service that acts as a catalyst for others to become involved in civic and social activities.

The Youth Citizenship Award recognizes a youth who has shown a strong interest in serving in their communities and volunteering to help others.

The Club/Organization of the Year Award is presented to the most outstanding club or Organization. The award is aimed at recognizing the club for its dedication and contribution in our community.

“The annual banquet offers an opportunity for individuals and groups to be nominated and recognized for the unselfish contributions made to help our citizens and community,” said Harbuck of the events significance. “Many of the recipients of these awards are not looking for recognition and their contributions would not be known unless they are nominated by an individual or organization that is aware of their contributions.”

This year’s event has changed location from Tartan Hall to the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.

“It is important to recognize those in our community who have made significant contributions to enhance and improve our community and quality of life,” said Harbuck. “It is these individuals and groups that make this a great place to live, work and play.”

Nomination letters can be delivered to the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at 98 Hyatt Road or emailed to  Nomination deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 5 p.m.  If you prefer, a Nomination Form is available for your convenience at the Franklin Chamber.  Feel free to drop by or give them a call to have one emailed to you.

“I want to encourage the everyone to nominate individuals or groups they are aware of that are deserving of our thanks and appreciation for what they do in our community,” said Harbuck.

These awards will be presented at The Annual Awards Banquet and Chamber Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Jan.  23, at 6:30 p.m.  Dinner will be catered by Motor Company Grill. Tickets are available at the Franklin Chamber for $25 per person. Seating is limited and advanced tickets are required.  For additional information, contact the chamber at (828)524-3161.

Corporate table reservations are also available by calling (828)524-3161. Showcase your business to those attending the banquet by donating a door prize. Your business will be listed in the program and recognized from the stage.