In a typical year, the Tallassee community would be gearing up for the annual Chamber Banquet, but this year, due to safety precautions, there will be no large gathering. However, most of the annual event will proceed in a new form.
"We will not have the banquet," Cunningham said. "The Board decided that we should cancel the banquet part rather than postpone it because we didn't know, in four or five months, where we would be."
While the in-person dinner portion of the annual Chamber Banquet has been canceled, the annual award recognitions and silent auction will proceed.
The Chamber will hold the 2021 awards celebration via a virtual platform on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
"We will have it on Facebook Live," Cunningham said. "We will take the opportunity to introduce our Chamber members and the businesses that are involved, as well as the individuals. We will also recognize our Chamber Ambassadors."
The 2021 Volunteer of the Year will be honored with the Frances Wagnon Award. The Chamber's Lifetime Award will winner will be announced via Facebook Live, and so will the Businesses of the Year and the President's Award winner.
The annual silent auction is still a go, but it will be a hybrid event. Bidders will have the opportunity to bid on items in-person or virtually. The two-day virtual auction will be held online via Facebook Live on Wednesday, Feb. 24, and again on Thursday, Feb. 25.
For those comfortable bidding in-person, the Chamber will offer that option as well.
"In-house, on Wednesday, the 24th, items will be set up here in the Chamber office and you can come by here and bid in-person if you'd rather do that" Cunningham said. "So, you have one day to come and bid in-person or two days to bid online."
All proceeds from the silent auction go toward the Chamber's student scholarship.
"It will be on Facebook Live and I encourage people to watch that," he said.
In addition to the online and in-person bidding, a list of the items that will be up for grabs will be published ahead of the auction.
The Chamber is currently accepting contributions for the silent auction. Contributions of practically all sizes will be accepted. All proceeds from the silent auction go toward the Chamber's student scholarship.
"We just ask that it be $25 or more," he said. "We have some people who donated up to $300 and $400."
To donate to the silent auction, contact Cunningham at 334-312-2679.