Cleveland chamber celebrates history at annual gala

Joann Young stands alongside a photo of her late husband, Moon Young, at the annual membership gala for the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Jan. 25. Moon Young was a celebrated photographer for the Cleveland area and his photos are a beloved part of the town's history and artifacts. His photos were used during the Chamber's "A Walk Through Cleveland's History," which was the theme of the banquet.

By Vanesa Brashier,

The Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce took a walk through history for its annual membership gala on Jan. 25 at the Cleveland Civic Center. For one of the guests at the gala, Joann Young, it was a celebration of the work of her late husband, Moon Young.

Moon Young was a well-respected photographer who captured moments in Cleveland’s history. Many of his photos are on display in residents’ homes and businesses, and at the Cleveland Historical Museum.

“He photographed weddings, engagements and funerals. He also worked for the Cleveland Advocate as a photographer during the early 60s,” Joann said.

The Youngs married in 1952 and were together nearly 52 years until his death in 2003 at the age of 75.

Joann said it brought back memories to see Moon’s photos on display.

“I started not to come tonight because I wasn’t feeling up to it. I am glad I did. It was really nice,” she said. “I don’t know if he realized the impact he made on the town.”

The chamber gala was also a time to recognize some of the organization’s most dedicated members, some of whom were honored with top awards.

The awards were given to Kari Dugger for Chamber Ambassador of the Year, Jeff McClain for Alfred G. Anderson Citizen of the Year, Hart’s RV and Boat Storage for Business of the Year, and Victoria Good for the Jean Noble McAdams Citizen of the Year.

This was the first year for the Alfred G. Anderson Citizen of the Year award named for the late Alfred G. Anderson, owner of Anderson Ford. Anderson, known as a servant-leader in the community, was devoted to the success of the chamber and economic prosperity of Cleveland until his death on Nov. 5, 2018.

Melissa Lanier, the outgoing board chairman, handed over the leadership of the board to her successor, incoming board chairman Charlie Rice. Plaques were also presented to Assistant City Manager Bobby Pennington, Jean McAdams and the Rev. Carl Williamson who completed their terms on the board.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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