By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
A record-attending crowd of 385 people enjoyed a shrimp broil dinner, silent auction and entertainment Saturday by motivational and comedic performer Chad Prather at the annual Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber banquet.
This year’s banquet had the largest number of people to attend the banquet in a decade, said Gail Sanders, chamber director.
Sanders described Saturday’s banquet at the Tucumcari Convention Center as both “overwhelming” and “a huge success.”
“The meal was fantastic, the community was outstanding and Chad Prather was extraordinary,” Sanders said.
Prather, from Fort Worth, Texas, is an entertainer and storyteller who uses comedy to talk about his life experiences as an athlete, husband and father in a form of motivational speaking.
“I like to think of myself as a modern day Will Rogers,” Prather said.
Prather said his performance style centers around observational humor. Prather said he looks at the world from the same point of view as everyone else, but added that the only difference is that he is willing to say out loud what others are thinking.
Prather said the audience reaction gives him his greatest joy in performing. He said seeing the crowd having a good time makes his work so rewarding.
Sanders said the banquet also serves as the main fundraiser for the chamber, which counts on membership dues, donations from the Lodgers Tax Board and Quay County and money raised from fundraisers to fund its annual budget. She said most of the money raised each year during the banquet comes from the silent auction.
Sanders said this year’s silent auction raised $3,210 and the ticket sales for the event generated $12,607. She said the money would be used to promote Tucumcari and Quay County. The money pays for advertisements placed in magazines and flyers distributed in state and out of state, Sanders added.
Sander said one of the ads used to promote the area for 2015-2016 is the New Mexico Adventure Guide, which said “goes to visitors centers and motels.”