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Chamber banquet postponed out of virus fears
event postponed
The annual Community Service Awards and Board Installation Dinner, seen here on Jan. 26, 2018, has been postponed. The event was set for Friday, Jan. 28 but has been rescheduled to March 18. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/ Courier file photo

Out of concern over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Ceres Chamber of Commerce has postponed its 53rd annual Community Service Awards and Board Installation Dinner which was scheduled for Friday evening, Jan. 28.

The event has been rescheduled to Friday, March 18 at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street.

Renee Ledbetter, the Chamber’s executive director, said the organization made the decision because of the local rise in COVID-19 cases filling local hospital beds. It is hoped that the spread will slow by March. According to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency, 259 patients with COVID were occupying beds in local hospitals. On Jan. 12, 161 COVID patients were hospitalized and on Jan. 20 the numbers rose to 252. Of those, 36 were in admitted to intensive care units. A total of 1,515 persons have reportedly died from COVID in Stanislaus County since the pandemic started in the spring of 2020. The highest percentage of COVID deaths in the county is the 75 to 84 age group, which accounted for 25.3 percent of all local deaths.

If it’s held in March, the 2021 annual Community Service Awards & Installation Dinner will include the installation of Chamber officers for 2022 and recognize members in the Ceres community who have made extraordinary contributions in service. Award categories include “Distinguished Service Award,” “Citizen of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award,” “Volunteer of the Year,” “Large Business of the Year,” “Small Business of the Year,” and “Young Citizen of the Year.” The “Chamber Legacy Award” honors individuals and/or businesses that have contributed through service, support or volunteer efforts to the community for more than 40 years.

Since 1969, the Chamber has recognized individuals for their service, business and civic attainment, leadership, awareness of the needs of others and distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to Ceres, their industry or organization.

For more information about this or other upcoming events, visit the Chamber’s website at