The dinner, held at Greer City Hall, honored small businesses and their efforts in revitalizing downtown Greer.
Denise and Chris VandenBerghe, owners of Wild Ace at 109 Trade Street, opened their pizzeria as Greer was struggling with two restaurant closings in the central business district three years ago. The restaurant offered business owners and families a place to enjoy Italian cuisine and socialize outside with its patio dining.
Wild Ace and the Greer Restaurant Association partnered to support a successful referendum allowing Sunday alcohol sales in the city.
Sports enthusiasts watched their favorite events in a casual setting and a local German soccer club has visited early Sunday mornings to watch their countrymen play.
The VandenBerghes have been active community partners in supporting the Greer Station Association and promoting downtown merchants. ACME General Store, another VandenBerghe enterprise, also spurred more traffic to downtown and new businesses.
Wild Ace has given support to local sports teams and high school athletics. Relay for Life, American Heart Association and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Childhood development programs, the Greer Relief Foundation, Community Ministries and local churches were also beneficiaries of Wild Ace’s donations and volunteerism.
A second Wild Ace Pizza and Pub opened earlier this spring near North Greenville University at 1901 Highway 14.
CBL opened in 1907 in the BA Bennett and Company building between Trade and Poinsett Streets. The bank invited the town’s close-knit populations of farmers, mill workers, and merchants to build their dreams through home ownership and by regularly saving for the future.
In 1992, CBL moved to its third location at 229 Trade Street, a cornerstone of the downtown revitalization efforts. With over $100 million in assets, CBL is one of the most highly capitalized institutions in the state.
The CBL Charitable Foundation, established in 1999 to support local non-profit and charitable entities in the Greer area, has awarded nearly $600,000 to organizations such as the Greer Community Ministries, Greer Relief, Visions of Excellence, Greer Christian Learning Center, Greer Soup Kitchen and Joshua’s Way.
Judy Albert, District Six city councilwoman, won a $6,000 1-carat diamond, Brenda Connelly (Workforce Investment Board) won a Dallas Cowboys game package and Jordan Abarotin of Wild Ace won a two-day driving school at the BMW Performance Center.