Holly Chamber Comes Together for Annual Dinner, Awards, and Filming
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Feb. 8, 2022)
Holly, MI – The Holly business community turned out in grand fashion for the annual Holly Area Chamber of Commerce dinner, hosted this year by The Holly Vault Collection’s Venue 111. Once an old school building, the space set an elegant scene for both the dinner and an unusual side project- filming for a movie.
The production is a movie with characters that fall in love while wrapped up in the magic of a small, historic town at Christmastime. Images of fluffy white snow falling before the quaint storefronts of the historic downtown, and of crowds gathering for the Dickens Festival, will be familiar sites for Holly residents watching the film. The gala will be featured as well, as characters will be attending a charity fundraising dinner to save the Holly Depot.
So as guests enjoyed beautifully prepared meals and a speech by Small Business Association of Michigan Director of Governmental Relations Alexa Kramer, Sam Khaleghi and his crew worked their way though the crowd with cameras.
Actors mingled with business owners and community members. And some locals even got to have speaking parts. The filming was mostly inconspicuous, but the invocation was extra memorable as Khaleghi had the pastor say it three times, with a line asking the Lord to make the meal calorie-free getting a lighthearted laugh.
But the real joy of the evening was honoring the community members and businesses that make Holly special.
Battle Alley Coffee, which has grown into the hot spot for community discussions, was recognized as Business of the Year. Owner Linda Stouffer accepted the plaque before the crowd of cheering supporters, most of whom have probably had a coffee or a muffin at one time or another.
The Randy Redmond Family, owners of RHL Financial Group, were recognized as Family of the Year. Holly Chamber Director Richard Kinnamon noted the family has been involved in many great causes, including Christmas in Action. “Christmas in Action work on usually about 3 homes a year – 5 this last year – homes of seniors in our community that have had need of significant work done to these homes,” he said. The Redmonds – Randy and Michelle along with daughters Kali, Erica, and Rachel were honored for their work with Christmas in Action and other efforts.
Holly Area Community Coalition was recognized as Organization of the Year. Director Susan Papple said “We’re very proud to have served the community for 21 years. So many partners that our coalition has worked with all in this room that have made us successful and we’re really proud of that.”
Person of the Year is Heather Melton, who volunteers for many causes including helping with the free food pantry inside the entryway of the Holly Police Station, and by collecting Purses with a Purpose for women escaping domestic violence.
When Kinnamon contacted her about the award, he said, Melton told him “’I don’t do this to be recognized.”
And he responded with ‘I know, but that’s why we’re recognizing you.”
The same day she got the phone about the award, Melton had seen two teenagers excited about a shirt in a store who were disappointed they could not afford it. She didn’t know the teens, but she bought them the shirts, and told them they should pay it forward when they were in a position to do so. The experience was as exciting for her as for the girls, and it reminded her of a life lesson.
“My mother taught me, sometimes in life, that you can’t out-give God,” Melton said. “But you can have a really fun time trying to do it.”
That spirit of generosity was a great component of the evening as people came together and celebrated each others’ successes. To learn more about the Holly Area Chamber of Commerce visit www.hollyareachamber.com. For more local news visit the Holly Area News Page. And to support this website please sign up to make a small monthly pledge.
Thank you to Jim Shaffer & Associates Realtors for sponsoring this section!