SULPHUR — Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry emphasized the many tourist attractions in Murray County during the third annual Murray County Chambers of Commerce banquet Thursday evening.

The theme of this year's event was "Fall In Love With Murray County" and during the ceremony, several awards were presented. Arbuckle Wilderness won the Murray County Outstanding Business Award for 2005, while the Murray County Outstanding Leader Award was presented to Debbie Sharp.

Chance Freeman, 2005 president of the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce, was awarded the De Lannom Citizen of the Year Award, while Monte Thompson, Superintendent of Davis Schools, was given the Helen Webber Citizen of the Year Award.

A media presentation was shown during the banquet, highlighting the numerous reasons one could fall in love with Murray county.

Gov. Brad Henry stated numerous reasons why he's so fond of Murray County as well.

"I am so happy to be here in Murray county," Henry said. "I was introduced to Murray county a long, long time ago. As a child, and just about as far back as I have a memory, I can remember heading down to Murray county, for a number of reasons. We would go to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, we liked to go camping in the Arbuckle Mountains. I spent countless summers at Falls Creek. That was just an incredible experience. I think I even had my first date a Falls Creek!"

According to Henry, approximately 1.5 million visitors pass through the Chickasaw National Recreation Area every year.

"Think of the incredible economic benefit that you enjoy from tourists." he said.

Henry also recognized the positive attitude that resides in Murray county.

"It's so obvious to me that there is a great deal of pride in the communities here in Murray county," He said. "Pride is growing all across this state. It's a wonderful, wonderful time to live and work in Oklahoma. These are exciting times to be an Oklahoman. And they're getting more exciting by the day.

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