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Chamber holds 70th Annual Awards Banquet

The Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce held its 70th Annual Awards Banquet last night at The Grand Hall to recognize achievements in the local community.

Picayune Mayor, Dr. Ed Pinero, reminded those in attendance about all of the events coming up in the next few weeks such as Christmas on the Rails, Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, and the movies in Crosby Commons that will bring people to Picayune to shop and dine.

Pinero commented, “Everyone is trying to do something to make Picayune better. Take a moment and you’ll realize you can purchase and get all the services you need right hear in Picayune and Pearl River County.”

Rotary's Tana Cochran and Chamber Executive Assistant Laci Lee

The Rotary Club of Picayune was recognized as the Civic Club of the Year

for their continued efforts to make the area a better place and for their pioneering of many service ideas for the community including scholarship awards to area schools, fishing rodeo for special education students, Christmas food baskets, and seminars of various types for young people. Rotary also is involved in Puttin’ on the Pink for breast cancer awareness.

Chamber President-Elect Misty Toruno and Byron Hill

Byron Hill was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year. Hill is very active in Puttin’ on the Pink, the Chamber, Rotary, and Roseland Park Baptist Church. He is also involved with the Civic Women’s Club Christmas Parade, Crosby Commons, and Renew Our Rivers. Hill, employed with Mississippi Power, provides presentations on safety and energy for local schools, Stennis Space Center, and Highland Hospital as well as other organizations.

Chamber President Bill Cruse and Chamber Executive Director Terry Farr

Dr. James Riser (standing) visiting with WRJW's Phyliss Stockstill and Denise Wilson.

The crowd taking their seats as the banquet begins.

J.P. Burns, Jr. (pictured above with Mayor Pinero) was the recipient of the Citizen of the Year award. Burns is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Picayune where he is active in Sunday school, is an usher, and has been a deacon for 45 years. He organizes devotional programs for local convalescent homes. Burns served 41 years in the National Guard. Upon retiring, he served as City Manager with the City of Picayune for a number of years. He has served as board member for the Picayune Housing Authority. Burns is active in the Gideons (12 years), the Lions Club (20 years), and is election commissioner for the city of Picayune and a poll worker for Pearl River County. Mayor Pinero also added that Burns never misses a council meeting or school board meeting.

John Pigott, Denise Wilson, Chamber Treasurer Greg Mitchell, Carey Meitzler

Pearl River Communications, Inc / WRJW (PRCI-WRJW) radio received the Excellence in Business Award from the chamber. PRCI-WRJW was recognized for its dedication to delivering local news, sports, weather, entertainment, and information about community activities to the area since 1949. It was noted that PRCI-WRJW has shown a great passion for support of local schools, charities, churches, and businesses as well as hundreds of hours of free programming for local organizations. PRCI-WRJW was recognized for their publications such as the Swap Shop News, Welcome Home Real Estate Guide, and Southern Senior magazine. The WRJW app airs sports action from all three county high schools.


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