Golden Chamber Round-up

50th Annual Clifton Chamber Banquet honors Sally & Rick Douglas, Drew Leigh

CLIFTON – For 50 years now, the Clifton Chamber of Commerce has put its best boot forward in supporting and promoting the local business community. Their annual Boots and Business banquet Saturday at the Texas Safari was themed gold to symbolize those 50 years.

Fittingly, there were lotsa boots in all colors to be seen – red, turquoise, black and white, exquisitely embroidered, and hand-made. Likewise, there were lotsa cowboy hats in a slightly more subtle color spectrum of light grey or black, and an occasional chocolate brown or cream. And all of those hats came off during the invocation by Neal McDowell.

Besides being a fundraiser, the annual banquet celebrates community spirit and people who embody that spirit. Awards go to “someone who has dramatically enhanced the lives and well-being of the greater Clifton community through leadership, dedication, support, and a positive and progressive community spirit over a long period of time, while supporting the Chamber’s goals.”

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Rick Douglas with wife Sally accepting the 2020 Hulan Aars Lifetime Achievement Award (above); Sally and Rick Douglas pictured with Phyllis Gamble, Paige Key and Lisa Horn (top).

This year’s Hulan Aars Lifetime Achievement award went to Sally and Rick Douglas for their tireless efforts to enhance Clifton through their participating in the Economic Development Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce Board, the Bosque Arts Center, supporting public projects and renovating downtown buildings, all while running a real estate business.

“Clifton has more service-above-self, community-minded, plain old, good people per capita, which makes choosing the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award difficult,” Phyllis Gamble said in her introduction of the couple. “I could go on and on about the many ways they have contributed to this community. In short, they worked hard and left things better than they found it.”

According to Gamble they serve, volunteer, give, organize and help some more.

“This place is unbelievable,” Rick said in his thank you speech. “In our minds, it is the most special place in the world. We are honored and a bit embarrassed to receive this award. We love you, and we love this community.”

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The 2020 Community Service Award recipient Drew Leigh pictured with Tom Henderson, Paige Key and Lisa Horn.

Similar to the Hulan Aars Award, the Community Service Award differs in that it can be bestowed onto people that have resided in Clifton for less than two decades.

“We were taught as children, and we taught our children to ‘just say no,’” Tom Henderson said in his introductory speech about the 2020 Community Service Award recipient, Drew Leigh. “But to continue to improve this community in Clifton, we have to learn to say yes.

“It takes people like this, which keep this great community as it is.”

Leigh has served on the Chamber Board, the Horse Show Association Board, the Clifton EDC, the Lions Club, assisted in running the concession stand, and helped organize a CASA fundraiser.

Leigh feels that community comes first, but said he could not have done anything without his great family support.

Fundraising auctioneer extraordinaire Tom Henderson with his spotters, Talon Clift and Alan Nisbet from Bosque Real Estate, helped raise around $4,500 with the live auction items. The Float Call to float the Comal River at New Braunfels brought in the top dollar bid.

Kathy Ryder sold an infinite number of stretch raffle tickets for the popular items offered. And as if that was not enough, there was a 52-card gun drawing and a special studded leather handbag raffle.

All in all, it was a fabulously fun evening of food by Rockin’ K&C BBQ, fundraising with friends and business associates, and musical performing throughout the evening by the talented Brian and Bryce Barrett of the Bosque Gents.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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