Chamber Members Pack Forney Hotel for February Luncheon

An active non-profit business organization, the members of the Forney Chamber of Commerce packed Forney’s Best Western Hotel on Thursday afternoon to listen to an enlightening presentation

from the Forney Education Leadership Foundation (FELF), as well as to vote for the organization’s annual Citizen of the Year and Helping Hand of the Year awards.

While those attending enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by Soulman’s Barbeque, Chamber Chairman of the Board Susan Seabolt stated, “I believe you’ve all received ballots to vote for the Citizen of the Year and Helping Hand of the Year awards.

Each member gets one vote for each award, and its one vote per membership. You’ll need to go ahead and look over the ballots because Phyllis and Mary will be picking those up in a few minutes.”

Prior to showing a brief video, FELF President and FISD Board Vice-President Greg Pharris stated, “We’re very proud of our foundations history. In 2007 the Board decided to do innovative teaching grants and since then we have awarded over $400,000 in grants for teachers.”

Pharris said “We give to classes things that affect whole departments. But there is also sometime when it just helps one student like last month at our meeting we had a little girl named Emma. This is Emma’s story. Emma is visually impaired. So one of the grants we gave was for a scanner. They can scan any story, poem or whatever so that she can read it in braille. And so she came to our meeting last month and read us a poem in braille that is a result of that gift we just gave in December. So we impacted this one, but we’re also impacting thousands of students in our district.”




Pharris was accompanied by Forney Leadership Foundation Executive Director Kate Bell in providing a detailed presentation on the kinds of scholarships provided by the FELF, as well as on the organizations new Dual Credit Advantage Program.

President Pharris said “As a result of our reorganization of the foundation this past year we looked at ways we could impact more of our students as the District grows. And so we partnered with the District and we came up with what we call the Dual Credit Advantage Program.”

Explaining he said “Basically starting next fall with the Class of 2017, that school year 2017-2018, incoming freshman through seniors will be able to take dual credit courses. Our district has worked out a coordinated contract with Dallas Community Colleges through Eastfield, so it will be transitioning and we’re going to be able to offer more classes than we had for Dual Credit before.”

Following the presentation of the Forney Education Leadership Foundation, Chamber Board Member Phyllis Lyons collected the ballots cast for Citizen of the Year and Helping Hand of the Year.

Watch the below video and hear Chamber Board Member Mary Elbecker provide details on the upcoming Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.

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