By Kevin Wilson: Quay County Sun
Businesses celebrated a year of success, and seven audience members entertained the audience during Thursday’s Quay County/Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce banquet.
About 130 businesses belong to the Chamber, according to President Debbie Lafferty. Lafferty welcomed the approximate 200 in attendance, and also entertained later when she was one of seven people hypnotized by Ron Carter.
Carter kept the hypnotized people busy, and the audience laughing, by having the seven people perform in a variety of scenarios — being a comedian who can’t remember punchlines, acting out their favorite scenes while speaking only Russian and thinking a volunteer audience member was Oprah Winfrey.
The hynotist was the capper to the evening, which started at 6 p.m. with wine and cheese tasting. Following were a silent auction, dinner and door prizes.
The theme of the night was “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” and table settings throughout the area were decorated with place settings with Route 66 and New Mexico themes.
Carol Keith, the chairperson for this year’s banquet, said she wanted to have that theme in order to promote the chamber’s annual Route 66 Festival, scheduled for July 6-9.
Keith said she volunteered to chair the event because she has plans to be out of town for other chamber events later this year and felt she could put in her fair share of work with the banquet.
However, she and Virginia Wright said it was a team effort.
“We start at least three months prior to the banquet,” said Wright, the chamber’s executive director. “We pick a theme and we all work together to get it done.”
Participants were allowed to bid on a variety of silent auction items, which Wright said totaled $5,000 in retail value. The gifts were donated by citizens and area merchants.
One change this year was the performance of Carter.
“I thought everybody liked it,” Keith said. “Every year, we have country or western music. I just wanted to do something different.”