To the Editor:

Speaking for the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber, I would like to extend a large and sincere THANK YOU to all who attended, participated in, sponsored and helped with the 13th Annual SML Business Expo on Friday, May 6th and the NEW SML Beer & BBQ Festival on Saturday, May 7th.  Both of these SMLRCC events create awareness of what we have right here in our business community and serve to ‘Kick-off’ the warm weather season.  They are a sterling example of how a business and residential community come together for the enjoyment and benefit of all.  

On Friday, May 6th, the SML Regional Chamber and 100+ area businesses took to action with creative booth displays showcasing the wide range of products and services they provide.  Every aisle under the four huge tents was bustling with activity, handouts, fun and business information exchange.  On Saturday, May 7th the venue and structures were transformed into a music, food, and crafts event, now called the SML Beer & BBQ Festival. 

It is virtually impossible to achieve quality events like these without the assistance of dedicated volunteers and equally difficult to include the names of every person who helped out.  Under the direction of Event Manager, Lauren Parcetich, and Assistant Event Manager, Terry Jones, hundreds of people came together in a variety of assignments focused on business and fun.  We would like to express our appreciation to everyone involved.  Special recognition also goes out to the committee leaders, businesses, groups and organizations.  Parking for both events was expertly coordinated by members of The Moneta Fire Department. Bethlehem Methodist Church offered extra space; vendor support and set-up was provided by Pete Phillip; Roanoke Golf Cars - transportation; Moneta Farm Supply – garden décor;  the food tent was coordinated by Amy Carter, Susie Pratt, Jane Boney, and Debbie Simmons and Frank Chrzanowski; electrical, Tim Gardner; Lyn Carroll and Amy Carter coordinated door prizes; Dick Epgrave, Longwood University, Walter Hogle, SCORE and Katherine Holcomb, VEC organized the ‘Business Connection’; Teresa Tyree led the exhibitor assistance group and clean-up effort for both events. Announcements were provided by Tim Ernandes. Sound by SoundDawgs.

Many of the Expo volunteer staff returned on Saturday to help with SML Beer & BBQ Festival.  Special thanks go to DownTown Moneta for providing an ideal location and businesses for accommodating the many event needs.  Plus a huge THANK YOU goes out to the sponsors, who make these events possible:

SML Business Expo Platinum– Centra

Gold – Carilion Clinic, Centra, Appalachian Power

Silver – BB&T Bank, American National, Bank of Botetourt, Premier Appraisals, HomeTown Bank, Bridgewater Marina and Boat Rentals, LeisureMedia360, P.A. Short Distributing

Bronze – Glenda McDaniel-Long & Foster Real Estate, Vogel & Cromwell LLC, Mulch ‘n More!, Gills Creek Marina & Lodge, Turner’s Dock Building, Inc., Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore LLP,  TBS Construction, LLC, AssuredComfort by SleepSafe Beds, SoundDawgs, Haywood’s Jewelers, Bootlegger’s Café, Union Bank & Trust, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices SML, Gilbert, Bird & Weston PC, WSLK Smile Broadcasting, Embrace Home Loans, Consolidated Construction, Bower Heating & Air.

Media Sponsor – WSET – 13 Television; Star Country-94.9, Sports Radio

Other media assistance – LeisureMedia360, Laker Media, SM Eagle, Bedford Bulletin and Franklin News Post

We live in an exceptional community with people who help one another.  The success of these events is just one example of what happens when we put our efforts together.  We hope these events inspired ideas, friendships and a spirit of celebration in addition to providing an economic boost and promoting local business trade.  Thanks to all...plans are already underway to do it again in 2017!

Vicki Gardner, Executive Director

Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce

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