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Chamber announces McDowell Strong Awards Ceremony
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Chamber announces McDowell Strong Awards Ceremony

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Chamber announces McDowell Strong Awards Ceremony

The McDowell County Chamber of Commerce is dedicating its annual banquet to honor those in our community who have exhibited strength, fortitude, acuity, compassion and tenacity in the face of the upsets and disorder of 2020.

The McDowell Strong Awards Ceremony will be a free, live virtual event on Thursday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m.

As the word normal morphed into new meanings across the nation, and Zoom no longer meant a fast Mazda car, residents, businesses, schools, and organizations shifted gears adapting to rapid-fire changes in order to keep McDowell County strong, healthy and resilient.

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” We understand that the strength of a community is only as strong as its people, and we are proud of the hardiness exhibited by our neighbors, businesses and friends.

As a way to recognize the many acts of fortitude, the Chamber has created four new awards along with our prestigious Duke Energy Citizenship Award to present at this event.

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The Phoenix Award: This award recognizes those businesses that not only survived the struggles and hardships of 2020, but were positioned in such a way that they were able to thrive and grow.

The Frontline Award: This award recognizes the selflessness of those in our community who continued to serve and work during the pandemic.

The Trailblazer Award: This award is for businesses that when most were struggling to stay open, they were identifying needs and creating solutions during the pandemic. They exemplify leadership in crisis and focused on solutions to benefit the community.

The Good Samaritan Award: This award was created to honor those in the community that even when they were dealing with the fallout of COVID-19, they helped others in the community through donations, advice, and mentorship.

The Duke Energy Citizenship Award recognizes and rewards leadership and/or involvement in volunteerism and community service. This award encourages a culture of citizenship and service in our communities that highlights the very traits that creates a strong a vibrant community. This is a tribute to individuals or groups who make a difference in their communities or places of work by using their time, talents, and compassion to positively impact the lives of others.

The free event will be live on Zoom and produced by AUMedia, LLC with presenting sponsors Duke Energy Corp., Tom Johnson Camping World, Morris Heating and Cooling and Baxter Healthcare Inc. We encourage the whole community to watch, create a watch party and share on social media with the tagline #mcdowellstrong when someone you know wins an award. As we move forward in 2021, it's important that we reflect on our accomplishments, appreciate our strengths, and gain inspiration for our growth.

You can RSVP to this celebratory event and cheer on the strength of our community. You will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting after you register. Visit for registration. For more information, email Emma Mathews at

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