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Busy day at Expo

VALLEY — A steady stream of people came through Valley Community Center’s Community Room Friday morning to meet representatives of local businesses and organizations to learn about what services and opportunities they offered the general public.

The second annual Business Expo & Luncheon generated a decent crowd and kept those manning booths very busy answering questions, distributing literature and keepsakes about their businesses and talking one-on-one with visitors about what they could do for them.

Lots of the business owners and representatives present took advantage of an opportunity to go on stage and talk to a big crowd about what they did. Two political hopefuls, Todd Rauch and Debbie Wood, talked to the gathering about why they wanted to represent District 38 in the Alabama Legislature.

Also speaking were representatives of Alabama Power, Allegiant Staffing, Apartments at the Venue, Bluffton Funeral Services, Boy Scouts of America, Chattahoochee Federal Credit Union, Chattahoochee Hospice, the Circle of Care Center for Families, Dave Shirley Photography, Diversicare of Lanett, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Grossman Law Firm, Main Street Family Urgent Care, the Opelika Career Center, Point University, the Quality Inn of Valley, Southern Union State Community College, Capital City Bank, the Cusseta Events Center and CharterBank.

U.S. Army veteran Todd Rauch said that he would be an advocate for veterans in the state legislature.

“I will work to figure out ways to solve issues on their behalf,” he said. “We need fresh perspectives in Montgomery. We need people with new ideas.”

Debbie Wood said that she was running as a wife, mother, business owner and breast cancer survivor. She said that it’s important for Chambers County to continue to have someone representing District 38, succeeding DuWayne Bridges and Isaac Whorton in that role. She said the state should be doing more for pre-k programs.

“I’m tired of seeing Alabama made fun of on TV,” she said. “No one will be laughing at me when I go to Montgomery.”

Lisa Weldon said that Chattahoochee Federal Credit Union attempts to build lifelong relationships one customer at a time.

“If you live, work or worship in Chambers County you can be a member,” she said.

Rev. Mark McGee said that Chattahoochee Hospice had been in the local area for the better part of 35 years and was prepared to help families under the most difficult of circumstances.

“Every child matters to us,” said Nancy Poole of the Circle of Care, pointing out that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Circle, she said, worked close to 300 cases involving possible child abuse or neglect.

Dave Shirley told the crowd that he’d had a professional studio in Lanett for close to 30 years now.

“We are into high school senior portraits and portraits of families, children and babies. We do commercial work, too. We would love to show you our studio,” he said.

Veronica Owens, admissions and marketing director for Diversicare of Lanett said that they were highly professional in providing long-term care as well as short stays for rehab services.

Bethany Roughen said that the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Huguley prided itself in having a small town feel to anyone who walked in the front door. She said the bank was small enough to know all of its customers personally and large enough to offer all kinds of loans.

Deborah Mitchell told the crowd that Grossman Law Firm has over 30 years combined experience in helping people with veterans and Social Security issues.

“If you are sick, come and see us,” said Amanda James of Main Street Family Urgent Care. “If you have occupational health needs come and see me.”

Mary Susan Underwood of Point University said that the West Point-based school was having a major impact on the local community.

“We’ve given out over $3 million in scholarships and contributed over 60,000 hours in community service,” she said. “We offer over 50 degrees in our undergraduate program.”

Robin Brown of Southern Union’s Valley campus said that SUSCC was one the best values that could be found in post-secondary education.

“Our tuition is very affordable,” she said. “It breaks down to $138 per credit hour.”

Dr. Brenton Jones of West Point Family Chiropractic said that one’s health is their life.

“Some people with migraines can get their life back in 90 days with chiropractic care,” he said.

Heather Brumfield of the Cusseta Events Center talked about her new business being an ideal place for a party or family get together.

“We can accommodate up to 95 people in our dining area,” she said. “We have a game room, a stage for live performances and a karaoke area and sound system.”