By CRISTIN REECE
One does not need to travel far in their search for wireless service, tax prep, ways to fight crime, end hunger or help a loved one receive top care in their golden years.
Those services, and more, are available right here in Palestine, and the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce’s proves just that though its annual Business Expo event.
The Expo, held Friday at the Palestine mall, featured nearly 60 vendors, both for- and non-profits, who highlight the plethora of services and businesses the city boasts.
“I think this is great,” Palestine resident Valerie Cook said Friday. “I came out to the library and found this going on. It really makes me feel confident about shopping locally. Hooray Palestine!”
Michelle Jimenez, of Palestine, echoed that sentiment.
“I never knew we had so many different businesses here,” she said.
Palestine resident Terry Williams added, “It’s really nice to see what’s going on in our community. Everyone did a great job.”
The event is an annual one put on by the Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve had extremely good crowds today,” event chair Kevin Watts said. “The community came together wonderfully on this, our Chamber board members and ambassadors all volunteered their time and talents and did an excellent job putting this together.
“They say you’re only as good as your help,” Watts added. “It’s no surprise this Expo was great — we had some great help!”
Watts said all the vendors who participated also went above and beyond to make the event a success.
“Lowe’s brought fans to help everyone keep cool, the diner offered a lunch special with free dessert, the library’s book sale was huge and Smokin’ Country acted as emcee and kept the tunes coming,” Watts said. “We had some really nice visuals for people to come see and some hands-on exhibits visitors could enjoy.
“We appreciate all the vendors who participated.”
Fredia Melvin, a representative of the Hospice of East Texas, said the Expo was a great venue to help educate the community on he many services Hospice provides.
“This is wonderful,” she said. “I’ve gotten the chance to talk to so many people and help spread the word on what we are and do for our patients.”
Cassie Huddleston, representing Petals Flower Shop, said she felt like the shop would participate in the Expo again.
“It’s been really fun,” she said. “It’s a good way to let people know we’re here and what we’re doing. We’re getting some really good exposure.”
Participating businesses included Aaahhsome Salon & Day Spa, Anytime Fitness, Bar S Ranch Resort, Bridgeway Health Services, Caring Companions at Home, Casa of Trinity Valley, Cellular One, Century Link, Cherokee Trails Nursing Rehab, Choice Homecare, Christian Heritage Academy, the city of Palestine, the Palestine Police Department, Dogwood Diner, Dogwood Trails Assisted Living, East Texas Food Bank, East Texas Pest Control, Elkhart Oaks Nursing Home, Family Smiles, Goodwill Industries, Goolsby Insurance-Allstate, Grapeland Messenger/Texas Farm & Home, Hampton Inn, Hospice of East Texas, Jammin JS Production, KBPC 93.5, KYYK-KNET, Lakeview Methodist Conference Center, Landmarc Media, Legacy Remodel and Design Group, Lowe's, Mary Kay, Modern Brush Designs, National Fame Life Insurance, Palestine Healthcare, Palestine Independent School District, Palestine Public Library, Palestine Library Friends, Palestine Regional Medical Center, Petals Flower Shop, the Anderson County Republican Club, Resolutions Weight Loss Center, Smokin’ Country, Solaris Hospice, State Farm-Brett Weisenburn, Tax Boys, Texas Vineyard & Smokehaus, Timbercrest Apartments, Trinity Valley Community College, Union Pacific Railroad, UT-Tyler Palestine Campus, Verizon, Wally's Party Factory, Willowcreek Chiropractic & Wellness and YourEastTexas.com.