By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The 2018 Grapeland Chamber of Commerce Banquet is just around the corner and the theme of this year’s soiree is “Shifting Paradigms – Pathways to Prosperity.”

The banquet is scheduled for Jan. 25 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Life Center in Grapeland.

Nikki Steinsbo, the executive director of Best Friends Community Services, is serving as the chair of this year’s banquet.

As to this year’s theme, “Shifting Paradigms – Pathways to Prosperity,” Steinsbo said this refers to an essential refinement of cultural mores.

“It is fundamental change to basically re-motivate our community and get past the status quo,” she said.

Three speakers are planned for the event, Steinsbo said. Dr. Kent Willis will discuss education and health. A representative from Vulcraft/Nucor will speak on business and industry while Houston County Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt will address the topics of government and leadership.

“All of these revolve around not just accepting the status quo,” she explained, “but changing with the times to find out what is better for the community as a whole. We need to re-motivate people around here. I know what Grapeland can be.”

When asked what she believed would be beneficial to the community, Steinsbo commented she would like to see better education for our children, better health care for the citizenry and job creation throughout the county and the East Texas area.

Steinsbo said the evening’s entertainment would be provided by the Texas College Choir from Tyler. According to the choral group’s website, “… the Texas College Concert Choir seeks to provide opportunities for learning and service through the discipline of singing.”

“We are expecting a night of good food and fellowship,” Steinsbo said.

Tickets are $20 for individuals and $110 for a table of six.

“There are a couple of tables still available,” she said. “When I say a couple of tables, I literally mean two, maybe. Tickets are really scarce.”

The remaining tickets are available through Chamber President Pat McNieve at Grapeland State Bank (936-687-4813), Brandon Bridges at Prosperity Bank (936-687-4814) or through Nikki Steinsbo at Best Friends (936-687-1003).

The evening’s festivities will also include the presentation of Grapeland’s 2018 Citizen of the Year award.

The event will be catered by Sadler’s Restaurant out of Jacksonville.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.