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The Alexandria Chamber Tames the Wild West

Gale Curcio
By Gale Curcio
Posted on Feb 03,2010
Filed Under News , Community, Entertainment , Local Style,
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Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Lonnie Rich enjoys a laugh with
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Lonnie Rich enjoys a laugh with "Long, Tall Drink of Water," otherwise
known as Charlotte Hall.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. -  As snow started to drop from the heavens Saturday, the calls and e-mails started going out: The much-anticipated annual Chairman's Gala of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce would gone on as planned.

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Kate Jansen, Jay Palermino and Tom Curcio are all smiles at the Gala.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Kate Jansen, Jay Palermino and Tom Curcio
are all smiles at the Gala.

With six inches of snow on the ground, about a quarter of the night's scheduled guests were not able to attend, but the show did indeed go on – and those who made it spent the evening having nearly as good of a time as Billy the Kid did with his gunfighters at a Wild West saloon.   

Co-chairs Amanda Chandler and Sally Vaquero, along with the gala committee and Chamber staff went all out turning the hotel gallery into a Western dude ranch.
 
Guests started arriving in Western wear, but Potomac Riverboat Company's Charlotte Hall received the most attention when she appeared as "Long, Tall Drink of Water," attired in full Indian headgear.

Guests enjoyed bidding on over 100 silent auction items before gathering in the banquet hall for dinner and festivities

A three-course gourmet dinner was served and after presentations by President/CEO Tina Leone, Virginia Commerce Bank President Peter Converse and co-chairs Amanda Chandler and Sally Vaquero, it was time to turn attention to Charlie Banta.

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Dan and Sarah Marks, Cathy Puskar, Jennifer & Joe Collum get ready to party.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Dan and Sarah Marks, Cathy Puskar,
Jennifer & Joe Collum get ready to party.

A poignant video showing Charlie in his younger years was followed by a series of interviews with Hilton Alexandria Mark Center’s employees by co-chairs Amanda Chandler and Sally Vaquero.

And then it was time for Hilton Alexandria Mark Center manager Charlie Banta to assume the chairmanship of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.

The evening continued with guests dancing to the music of Kaleidoscope and then Alexandria's esteemed Vice-Mayor Kerry Donley charmed some more money out of members with a live auction.
 
Billy the Kid, eat your heart out.

Get a jump start on your day by joining business colleagues at the Professional Networking Breakfast that will be on February 9 at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel.

Wind down your day at the Chamber’s Business After Hours networking reception that will be held at Union Street Public House from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18. This is a great chance to meet new people and network while enjoying a drink and some food.

For more information, visit www.alexchamber.com or call 703-549-1000.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Dan and Sarah Marks dressed up for the Gala.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Dan and Sarah Marks dressed up for
the Gala.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Cathy Puskar enjoys talking with Mayor Bill Euille.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Cathy Puskar enjoys talking with Mayor
Bill Euille.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Joe Collum comes dressed for the occasion, as does Chamber CEO and President Tina Leone.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Joe Collum comes dressed for the occasion,
as does Chamber CEO and President
Tina Leone.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Joan Renner puts the finishing touches on John Renner's Western duds.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Joan Renner puts the finishing touches
on John Renner's Western duds.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Anila Angjeli enjoys herself at the Gala.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Anila Angjeli enjoys herself at the Gala.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Vice-Mayor Kerry Donley gives another rousing performance as Gala auctioneer.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Vice-Mayor Kerry Donley gives another
rousing performance as Gala auctioneer.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Charlie Banta accepts her new position of Chamber Chairman.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Charlie Banta accepts him new position
of Chamber Chairman.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Members of Charlie Banta's team from the Hilton Mark Center cheer him on as he makes his acceptance speech.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Members of Charlie Banta's team from the
Hilton Mark Center cheer him on as he
makes his acceptance speech.



Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Outgoing Chair Cathy Puskar accepts a thank-you gift from Tina Leone.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Outgoing Chair Cathy Puskar accepts a
thank-you gift from Tina Leone.








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