Belterra wins big at ‘Suits & Boots’ event Reply

Dripping Springs Area Chamber of Commerce volunteer Board Chairman and consultant with BITwise Consulting, Bonnie Humphrey (right), celebrates with former Print Plus business owner Pam Owens. Humphrey is in her fourth year and second term serving on the COC board.

The 10th annual Dripping Springs Area Chamber of Commerce ‘Suits & Boots’ Community Awards Event for 2011, glittered Saturday night under the twinkling lights of the Salt Lick Pavilion in Driftwood. With nearly 250 business owners and community-minded folks attending, and wearing boots as far as the eye could see, the COC 2011 awards were Emcee’d by Penny Reeves Goff, and presented by Board Chairman Bonnie Humphrey for Business of the Year, Hometown Hero, Non-Profit of the Year, New Business of the Year, and Citizen of the Year.

Eric Willis proudly displays Belterra’s award for 2011 Business of the Year with his sons

The big winner was the Belterra community for 2011 Dripping Springs Business of the Year. The award was accepted by Eric Willis, president of Natural Development Austin.  Chamber presenter Humphrey noted that Belterra community facilities are offered for use by many different groups and added that, “even in these slow economic times, Belterra has worked to stimulate the Dripping Springs economy.” Also noted was Belterra’s support of over $30,000 to local organizations in 2011, demonstrating that “Life Wide Open” is a winning way to live.

The night’s other big 2011 winners were:

  • June Baumoel for Citizen of the Year 
  • North Hays County Fire/Rescue Team for Ed Sims Memorial/Hometown Hero
  • Helping Hands, Inc. for Non-Profit of the Year
  • Barber Shop Bar for New Business of the Year
The Hometown Hero and Citizen of the Year awards are nominated by the membership of the Chamber of Commerce. The awards for Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, and Non-Profit of the Year are nominated by both the Chamber membership and the general public. The final vote was open to the public through an online survey.
Other notable locals in attendance included state representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) – pictured far right – and his wife, Carrie – in the awesome silver boots! Carrie also serves on the board of Helping Hands, Inc., a local non-profit food pantry.

Highlights of the evening included dozens of donated area Silent Auction items, a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres of stuffed mushrooms and bacon wrapped chicken and, of course, plenty of world-famous Salt Lick BBQ main dishes and sides, followed by desserts. In keeping with the ‘Suits & Boots’ theme, table centerpieces, provided by Flowers & Gifts by Dan Tay’s in Dripping Springs, featured wildflowers festively set in actual boots.
Meanwhile, those attending kept their boots on and many obviously enjoyed kicking up their heels on the dance floor. A lively variety of live music that included well-known favorites from contemporary country to 70’s rock, was provided by the Jim Halfpenny band. Several folks joined in and partied until after 10pm.
When the party was over, the boots came off – the tables, that is. And no doubt off the feet of the weary but happy Chamber of Commerce leaders who worked hard to once again bring together a great community of business and individuals to celebrate the year’s achievements from around Dripping Springs. 
Pretty – and pretty happy – Sherrie Parks takes a moment to sit and smile
There was possibly no one happier to take off her boots, kick back, and relax at the end of the evening than COC Executive Director, Sherrie Parks. Sherrie was named to the full-time position just before the new year so she didn’t have much time to get her “boots on the ground” before the big event. Well done, Sherrie and team! See you next February, at the 11th annual Dripping Springs Area Chamber of Commerce “Suits & Boots” Community Awards event.  
For more information about the Dripping Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, visit online at:

Irish music, Chinese food, and a Texas ice house Reply

Where else can you shoot pool while listening to a live practice jam session by a fiddle band playing Irish heritage music, in a Texas ice house bar that serves Chinese food?! At the Canyon Grill Ice House here in Dripping Springs, that’s where!

My delightful little visit on a Saturday afternoon to this Texas roadhouse started about two weeks prior, when I joined a billiards league in north Austin. That happened to be the same week I had a crew come out and pull the rails off my pool table and take the cushions away for repairs. Not great planning on my part. I hadn’t had a table to practice on since, and it showed in my league play performance.

Then I remembered there was a pool table at the nearby Canyon Grill Ice House on 290West. With hubby and the kids occupied elsewhere, I headed over for a practice session. What fun and unexpected circumstances awaited! Not only did I get in a productive two hours of practice time (my league teammates were thrilled!), I also got to enjoy listening to a talented band of fiddlers practice Irish heritage music – and – after pondering an extensive menu that included Chinese food – I enjoyed a Texas ice house cheeseburger that was really good!

To add to my fun, the manager (a local, former rodeo gal named Gaye), introduced herself and asked to shoot a rack with me. Now, I may have been born at night but I wasn’t born last night. Any woman who walks up to another woman at a pool table and challenges her to a game is no chump at playing pool. But neither am I, and there are few things I enjoy more than shooting pool with a woman who can give me a good run on the table. Gaye is one of those women. I’m happy to report that I won our little game…but only because Gaye scratched on the 8-ball.

My point is – go check out the Canyon Grill Ice House! I found the food to be very good and the atmosphere friendly, comfortable, and fun. Better yet, Gaye tells me that during the week, M-F, there’s an All-You-Can-Eat Chinese Buffet from 11am-2pm.  On Fridays and Saturdays, you can savor a 16 oz steak with a loaded baked potato for $11.95. Gaye said the Canyon Grill also features Daily Drink Specials. What’s not to like?

The Canyon Grill Ice House is located on Highway 290, just west of Sunset Canyon Drive. When you go, say hello to Gaye for me..but beware her friendly invitation to shoot a game of pool.