Team spirit shines at Chamber Community Expo

Published 8:27 pm Monday, November 27, 2023

The Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce’s 28th annual Community Expo drew inspiration from the sports world for its theme of unity this year, and this, in turn, resulted in an event with a fun atmosphere that left participating businesses inspired by the collective impact they can have locally.

The event, held Thursday, Nov. 16, at Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center, featured the theme of One Team-One Dream-Executing Excellence “Hometown Tailgate.”

“Businesses really embraced the ‘Hometown Tailgate’ theme,” Chamber President Marshall Rabil said.

Chamber Executive Director Teresa Beale said the expo featured 43 vendors, many of which had creative, interactive booths that gave attendees a sense of the tailgating environment outside a sports stadium.

“Having Chris Rice from Music Makes You Happy emceeing the event was a lot of fun,” Rabil said. “We really enjoyed having Coach Danny Dillon from Rock Church and Coach (Robby) Cutchins from Franklin High provide us with some inspiring stories and anecdotes during the business hour.”

Rabil then alluded to some of the representatives of Southampton Academy at the expo who helped run the school’s booth and who fostered a team spirit at the event with their cheers.

“The SA cheerleaders were a great touch,” he said.

He then underscored what the Community Expo sought to highlight about the area.

“We have incredible businesses and services in Franklin/Southampton,” he said, “and we all left inspired that our community is much stronger when we are working together.”

Beale said it was hard to guess how many people attended the event, but she would say between 300 and 350 people came through.

“There was such a fun, happy vibe this year,” she said. “Everyone was having such a good time visiting with one another and discovering what the businesses had to offer. We love facilitating the new connections made between businesses and the community.”