Pageland’s best in business and nonprofit organizations were honored during the Pageland Chamber of Commerce’s annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony Friday, Feb. 17.
The theme for the celebration was “The Wild West.” More than 200 people filled the Pageland Community Center to join in the celebration. Many of them were dressed in their western attire.
Chamber president, Timothy Griffin, presided over the event. Among the participants were local, county and state officials, including Pageland Mayor Jason Evans; Pageland Town Council members, Harold Hutto, mayor pro tem; Jimmie Baker, Jessie Mangum Kimrey, Kim Smith Mangum; town administrator, Shane Sligh; Chesterfield County councilman Ethan Foard; S.C. State Senator Penry Gustafson; and S.C. State Representatives Richie Yow and Cody Mitchell. Libby Lear, chairman of the Chesterfield County Economic Development Board, was also in attendance.
Musical entertainment was provided by Garth Rivers.
In his opening remarks, Griffin said the awards event was actually a celebration of the community, one to honor all of the participants.
Before praying, the Rev. Joel Dale, pastor of Pageland First Baptist Church, referred to the biblical scripture from Psalm 133:1 stating “how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.”
“God smiles upon them who are unified,” remarked Rev. Dale.
A main highlight of the evening was the celebration of Sara Decker, branch manager of First Palmetto Bank in Pageland and Kershaw, for 50 years of dedicated service in the banking business. Decker was presented with the Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement in Business award. Decker is also a past president of the Pageland Chamber of Commerce.
The award was presented by Pageland town attorney, Adam Foard. Foard said Decker is someone who is in short supply in “our real world.” He said she has put both time and energy into her work with no expectation of fanfare or praise.
“It hasn’t been about me,” Decker said. “It’s been about a group effort.”
The Downtown Business of the Year award went to A Gathering Place. Karen Ekwue, owner of the business, was in tears as she thanked the Chamber for the honor.
Wilhelmenia Robinson was presented with the Business Woman of the Year award. She is owner of Salon Static and Stumble on Main.
Chamber member, Michelle Melton, made the presentation.
Robinson went from working for Salon Static to owning it. She said her faith in God is what has inspired her to follow her dreams in becoming a business owner.
Annie Freeman, a local caterer and baker, was honored as the Chamber’s Woman of the Year. Chamber member, Matthew Smith, presented the award to Freeman.
Smith said Freeman was always supportive of local events such as the Pageland Watermelon Festival, the Chamber awards banquet and the fundraiser for the repairing of the Town’s Clock.
Also during the evening, Donald and Pattie Pigg were presented with the Citizens of the Year award for their loyal community service to the town. The couple was presented the award by local business owner, Shawn Freeman. Freeman said the two of them can be seen regularly around town helping with projects and other activities.
Donnie and Pattie Pigg restarted the Pageland Historical Society, which meets monthly and shares historical photos and information on social media.
“They love our town and its history,” Freeman said.
Donnie Pigg said he is pleased to work alongside his wife in everything she is involved in with the town.
Other awards went to the following businesses, organizations, and individuals.
Small Business of the Year: El Paso Mexican Restaurant; Business of the Year: Walmart Distribution Center 6073; Growth in Business: Aalbert Integrated Piping Systems; Janet Mangum Friend of the Festival Award: Town of Pageland Public Works; President’s Award: Pageland Rescue Squad and Pageland Fire Department; and Community Service Organization of the Year: the Pageland Garden Club.
A special presentation, arranged by Baumgartner Funeral Home, was shown during the program to remember former Chamber members Tommy Agerton, (Jan. 13, 1936-April 9, 2022); Lovia Johns, (Feb. 9, 1944-Oct. 23, 2022); Gerald “Mickey” Thomas Baker, (May 23, 1947-Dec. 25, 2022); Ms. Pearl Arant, (Dec. 3, 1914-Dec. 29, 2022); and Robert “Mack” Nicholson, (Nov. 7, 1946-January 26, 2023). Agerton, Johns, Baker, Arant, and Nicolson were all pillars of the community.
Guests of the awards ceremony enjoyed a scrumptious barbeque meal by Gardner Brothers of Chesterfield. They also had a variety of cakes, provided by Annie Freeman and Griffin, to choose from.
Winners of the Boot Decoration contest were Salon Static and First Palmetto Bank.
Pageland Chamber of Commerce Board for 2023
Timothy Griffin, president, Griffin Consulting; Lavonna Rivers, vice president, Rivers Graphics; Stephanie Catoe, treasurer, Human Resources manager at Sandhill Telephone; Charlotte Childers, secretary, Lynches River Electric Co-op Board of Directors; Will Moore, Walmart DC; Rebecca Miles, Sassy K9 Clips; Jessica McManus, Central High School; David Dale, Sandhill Telephone Co-op; Dillon Melton, Titan Stainless; Justin Young, First Citizens Bank; Carl Deason, Netpro; Amanda Gaskins, G & A Logistics Transport; and Elizabeth Smith, New Creations Embroidery and Gifts