By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
According to some experts in the field, the breakdown of the American family has been happening for years, and this Saturday, a nationally-known comedian will be in Liberal to examine what has gone wrong.
After making a visit to Southwest Kansas two years ago, Etta May is back this year for the Liberal Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Bash, and this time, she’s bringing a different look to her act.
“She’s going to do a G-rated performance,” said Chamber Executive Director Rozelle Webb. “She’s going to tell us about the breakdown of the American family and what we can do about it.”
Webb said this is a brand new bit for ‘Dr. Etta.’
“I don’t think we’re the first, but she just recently started it,” she said. “Not too many people have seen it.”
Webb said visitors to the 2008 Chamber banquet enjoyed May’s comedy. This year’s act is staged as a seminar in two parts.
“It’s going to be a little different,” Webb said.
She said this year’s banquet is quite similar to years past.
“We will start out with judging the corporate tables between 3 and 5,” she said. “The doors will open at 5. Everyone can come in and view all the cool table decorations. We’ll start eating at 6 and then have some awards and recognitions.”
All of this will take place in the Liberal High School gymnasium, and following those recognitions, the show will continue in the James Maskus Auditorium.
“Then we’ll have a few more awards and recognitions,” Webb said. “Then Dr. Etta will have the program. It will begin about 8 o’clock.”
Individual tickets are $40, and corporate tables are available for $300.
“We still have a few corporate tables that are available if a business would like to buy a corporate table,” Webb said. “We have several individual tickets left for sale. They can just come to the Chamber office. We do tickets here. They can buy them from any Chamber board member or ambassador.”
Webb said many sponsors have helped with this year’s banquet.
“Our dinner sponsors include National Beef, Black Hills Energy, Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, Golden Plains Credit Union, Southern Office Supply, Stu Emmert’s Automotive Center, Sunflower Bank and United Wireless,” she said. “Our entertainment sponsors include Epic PCS, First National Bank, J&R Sand, Southern Pioneer Electric, Electric Motor Service, Windjammer, State Farm – Jerry Harding and Farm Bureau Financial Services – Scott Kane.”
Among the awards given out during the evening is the Merit Award and the No. 1 Ambassador Award.
“We will also be giving first, second and third prize in table decoration,” Webb said.
The theme for the banquet is “Happy Days are Here,” a 1950s-based theme, and Webb said a new award will be given out in honor of that theme.
“We’re going to award one girl and one guy Best Dressed in the ’50s Look,” she said. “Several people have said they’re going to dress ’50s. We’re encouraging people to dress in the ’50s attire, but guests certainly don’t have to dress that way. They can if they would like. It should be a lot of fun.”
The Friend of the Chamber award will also be given out, and the Chamber will also honor outgoing president Larry Howell, who died recently from the H1N1 virus.
“We have a video that we’re showing, and we will do a memorial to Larry,” Webb said.
For more information about this year’s banquet, call the Chamber at 624-3855.