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Cunningham gives rundown of 2021 events

By Michael Butler

Jerry Cunningham wears a lot of hats. In addtion to being the director of the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce, he is also director of the McCraney-Cottle Arts Council, director of music at First United Methodist Church and he is still involved with the Tallassee High School Music Department as a former director.

As 2020 ends and we look ahead to 2021, Cunningham points out that there is still much doubt with the future of some of the usual events we have grown accustomed to seeing.

"One of the big things we have every year is the Chamber banquet," Cunningham said. "We're not going to have one in person this year. We're still going to be recognizing our Business of the Year, our Lifetime Achievement Award, also the Volunteer of the Year. We're taking nominations now. Any Chamber member can submit a nomination."

The virtual banquet is penciled in on the calendar for Feb. 4.

"We're going to be doing it through Facebook Live with a few people at the Chamber office. We haven't quite decided how we'll do our silent auction. That raises money for student scholarships."

Cunningham with 2020 Chamber of Commerce award winners (from left): Brad Davis, Brooke Rigsby, Lamar Godwin. This year's event will be a virtual ceremony.

As for the McCraney-Arts Council, the biggest event annually is put on by Missoula Children's Theatre in January. That will not happen in 2021, but Cunningham and the MCAC board are exploring other options potentially a stage show as a local production.

"The venues that we ordinarily would use, we're not sure of the status. It's still up in the air. We're trying to have some kind of spring event, maybe two. It's hard to predict."

The THS Music Department's Capital City Classic is also a calendar event every year in January at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. It has been canceled.

"Before Christmas we went ahead and contacted the schools. We might have still had some schools that could have come. A lot had registered. We have so much overhead. We didn't need to be in a position of losing money. There's no way we could host an event like that in our town. There's too many people. We have about 5,000 people come through there in a weekend."