McCrory visit already sold out

Jan. 20, 2014 @ 08:06 PM

Next week’s visit by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is a sellout.

McCrory is the scheduled guest speaker for the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce annual banquet and awards recognition next Tuesday at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center. The anticipation is the highest in six years, since NFL hometown favorite Jason Brown spoke in 2008.

Bill Edwards, former chamber president, said a record 465 tickets were out for that event. Brown played prep football in Vance County, collegiately at North Carolina and was at the time a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

John Barnes, current president of the chamber, said 500 tickets have been sold and none remain.

“We could sell more, but the civic center is completely full,” Barnes said.

And will be tight. Usually, the chamber banquet has between 400 and 450 tickets.

“We ran 420 to 450 most years,” Edwards said of an eight-year span directing the chamber. “The most I ever put in was 465.

“We were full for David Cutcliffe. Larry Stogner was pretty full. We sold out with Woody Durham.”

Cutcliffe, the Duke football coach, came in 2011. Stogner, a news anchor with WTVD-Ch. 11, was here in 2012. Durham, the popular longtime former voice of the Tar Heels Sports Network, was a guest in 2003.

Barnes said a “great deal of work” has already been done by his staff and excitement in the community is high.

“I think we’re pretty much ready,” Barnes said. “There’s been consistent work on it.”

In addition to the governor’s remarks, the banquet is highlighted by the announcement of the Citizen of the Year. Dr. Bev Tucker, last year’s winner, will make the presentation.

Also announced at the banquet will be the Shining Moment In Education award, which recognizes the contributions of the most outstanding business organization, church, civic or community group, or individual who has supported Vance County Schools for the year 2013-14.

The chamber will also present a first-time award, expected to become annual, to a chamber ambassador.

Also recognized at the event will be any veterans in attendance and the Vance County Schools’ current honorees for teacher, assistant principal and principal of the year, respectively.

Hal Muetzel is the outgoing chairman, and Jenny Hester will be beginning her term as chairwoman of the board.

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.