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Charlie Daniels honored at Central Carolina Small Business Banquet

Charlie Daniels honored at Central Carolina Small Business Banquet

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County and pop music legend Charlie Daniels (center) received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ... (more)

Charlie Daniels honored at Central Carolina Small Business Banquet

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County and pop music legend Charlie Daniels received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 23rd Annu ... (more)

Charlie Daniels honored at Central Carolina Small Business Banquet

click to enlarge ⊗

County and pop music legend Charlie Daniels (left) greets Jo Jarrett, incoming president of the Sa ... (more)

Charlie Daniels honored at Central Carolina Small Business Banquet

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Robert Patterson (center), senior vice president of First Bank, in Sanford, was honored as the Sma ... (more)

Charlie Daniels honored at Central Carolina Small Business Banquet

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Robert Smith (right) and Peggy Smith (second from right), owners of Smith’s Coffee and Premi ... (more)

05.13.2008College & Community

SANFORD — Even without a song, country and pop music legend Charlie Daniels wowed the crowd at the 23rd Annual Central Carolina Small Business Banquet.

Daniels was the special guest of honor at the 2008 banquet, held May 8 at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. He was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his long and successful career in music. Daniels was born in Wilmington, but said he spent his formative teen years in Gulf, a small town near the Lee-Chatham county line.

It was there that his friend Russell Palmer taught him to play on an old, beat-up guitar. Palmer was at the banquet to help honor Daniels. Since that small town beginning, Daniels’ musical career has taken him all over the world.

“After all these years, I’ve still got some tar on my heels,” he told the appreciative audience of about 450 business people and their guests. “I thank you for claiming me still as one of you.”

Bob Joyce, president of the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, said that Daniels “is the very model of a successful business owner,” because a musical career is a business.

Daniels began his long career in the late 1950s. In 1975, his “Fire on the Mountain” album went double platinum. In 1979, his “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” topped both country and pop charts, became a platinum single, and won a Grammy Award and three CMA trophies. Daniel's “Million Mile Reflections” album, which included the song, hit triple-platinum, and he was named CMA Musician of the Year. His successes continued. In 1999, Daniels was named TNN/Music City News “Living Legend.” In 2008, he fulfilled a life-long dream by becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Following the achievement presentation, Kerr Drug Co. presented a $1,000 check to Daniels for his favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity. The check will go to the Habitat’s Lee County Chapter.

The Small Business Banquet, held annually to celebrate and recognize leadership in the small business community, is put on by the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce and Central Carolina Community College’s Small Business Center in Lee County

At the event, Robert Patterson, senior vice president at First Bank, in Sanford, was honored as Small Business Advocate of the Year. Robert and Peggy Smith, owners of Smith’s Coffee and Premium Water Co., in Sanford, were honored as Small Business Persons of the Year.

Patterson was described as being a mentor, coach, and cheerleader for business owners and to-be business owners, while also very active in civic affairs, from serving on the boards of community organizations to coaching Pop Warner football.

Robert and Peggy Smith built their company over 20 years. It now employs 35 people. They were lauded as examples of successful business people, as well as being models of civic pride and responsibility.

Toward the close of the event, Jim Felton, Small Business Center director, asked all the small business owners in the room to stand for a round of applause. As they did so, he praised them for their “perseverance, commitment and providing products and services to our community.”