GREENBRIER — More than 365 new and seasoned teachers and school employees were welcomed back to school at the kickoff breakfast/expo hosted by the Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce. 

This annual gathering is a time for teachers to catch up with each other, compare notes and generally meet and greet once again to start the new school year. This year, the adjoining gym was packed with more than 44 vendors who exhibited their wares and gave away door prizes and gifts to every participant. 

Breakfast was a buffet prepared by Greenbrier High School cafeteria personnel. Vendors’ booths included everything from flowers to investments to food items for teachers to visit and learn about. 

Every vendor provided "goodies" to fill the tote bags given to all. In addition, more than 50 special door prizes were awarded because some vendors gave more than one. Such things as $50 gift certificates, floral arrangements, coupons, jewelry items, and dinner reservations were all awarded to winners of the drawings. 

One of the prizes was awarded by Centennial Bank in its money machine. Four winners each had 20 seconds in their enclosed plastic booth with $450 blowing around inside. Winners caught anything from $37 to $59 in their time in the booth to the great delight and applause of bystanders.

For the first time, the expo, normally only for teachers and school staff, was opened to the public for two hours in the afternoon. 

Before the Expo was over, the chamber surprised the venders with a door-prize drawing just for them.

The chamber, as an added bonus, will feature Mobilized Verizon on its website for a week. Go to the Chamber website to view upcoming events at www.greenbrierchamber.org.