Elkins-Randolph County Chamber hosts virtual awards ceremony
ELKINS — The Elkins-Randolph County Chamber hosted their Annual Awards this year virtually. The event, held Tuesday and sponsored by FirstEnergy, was a combination of live-feed with speakers and short video clips. With the theme “Celebrating Our COVID-19 Heroes,” the award presentations included their usual business-themed awards mixed with five special awards for individuals, businesses, and organizations who stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the welcome, Lisa Wood, Chamber executive director, told the virtual attendees, “2020 was a year like nothing we’ve ever known. But through it all, we persevered. Our businesses kept doing business. Our organizations kept organizing. Our friends and neighbors in Randolph County pulled together and kept things going. We masked up, social distanced, and learned things we never knew we needed to know. When I stood on the Phil Gainer Community Center stage last year, welcoming you to our Vibrant Celebration, I didn’t know what a Zoom meeting was. Now, here we are ‘Zooming’ together.”
It took a team of volunteers to pull off the virtual event. Registrants received a gift bag hand-delivered to them on Monday or Tuesday. The gift bag included items from the sponsors and a special dessert from Great Harvest Bakery & Cafe. Eric Armstrong of D&E produced the live event on the stage of Harper McNeely Auditorium in the Myles Center for the Arts on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. Chamber Board member Shane Jones created most of the videos shared during the virtual event. Network Committee members Wendy Morgan and Madalyn Humphrey helped manage the Zoom participants and chat session for the 30-minute Zoom session. Additional committee members, Anne Beardslee, Adriana Channell, Kathy Leombruno, Sue Pifer, and Kathy Vance worked for over two months to make the event a success.
The day before the event, Wood, along with Chamber Board President Jonathan Kyle and emcee Scott Goddard presented the awards “Publisher’s Clearing House” style by surprising each recipient at their place of business. The presentations included their awards — custom created and designed by committee member Kris Wilmoth at The Wood Tech Center — plus a sponsor banner and bouquet of balloons.
On stage during the virtual event, Kyle shared that even through a pandemic, “(The Chamber) continued to be a voice for business. We continued to collaborate with other groups and organizations to keep the focus on building a vibrant community. 2020 didn’t stop our initiative, but it did change things. The Chamber learned to adapt. Our members learned to adapt. Our community adapted.”
Together at the conclusion, the trio on stage told the participants the Chamber hopes next year to hold a big celebration “in person!” To watch the program in its entirety, go to the Chamber’s homepage at erccc.com. The video is listed under IN THE NEWS — Annual Awards.