Congressman to be keynote speaker at 2018 banquet


One of Union's most accomplished native sons will return to the town again for the 52nd Annual Union Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet.

This year's keynote speaker will be U.S. District 1 Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss, and the entertainment will be provided by The Josh Dickerson Band at the March 23 event.

Kelly, a Union High School grad, has represented Mississippi's First District since winning a special election to replace the late Alan Nunnelee in 2015. In January, Kelly was promoted to the post of brigadier general of the Mississippi National Guard.

Kelly is a combat veteran who served 32 years in the military and has been awarded two Bronze Stars and a Combat Action Badge, among other commendations. He saw active duty in Desert Storm in 1990 and deployments to Iraq in 2005 and 2009-2010 and once commanded 670 soldiers in Iraq.

Chamber Board President Sherry Harrison said this year's theme, "Celebrate America," will coincide perfectly with Kelly's first time as the banquet's keynote speaker.

"We still feel like we have a lot to celebrate in our country. We are just glad to be able to come together to celebrate our country, and Representative Kelly just being promoted as brigadier general kind of ties it together," she said. "We wanted to also show our support to our military, and we're going to be doing some recognition there."

Kelly also returned back to his high school in September to address the students in a special assembly.

The Josh Dickerson Band's appearance is sponsored by Quinn's Family Pharmacy and Mississippi Power. They have been a mainstay of the Union Country Day Festival for several years. They have been performing at an array of venues all across the Southern region. While branded as a country band, they play a blend of many different genres as well as their own original material.

The Chamber will also present the Citizen of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement awards during the event, which will again include several door prizes from several area sponsors.

Girl Scouts Troop 3251 will be the servers at the banquet and will earn badges for their work.

"We're expecting a big turnout and a big night and we're looking forward to it and we think everybody will enjoy it," Harrison said.

Tickets can be purchased from any chamber board member of at Quinn's Family Pharmacy, Citizen's Bank Union branch or State Farm of Union.