Community Awards Presented
Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB Announces 2007 Community Award Recipients
Branson, MO – The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau announced the recipients of the 2007 community awards—including one new annual award—at the Chamber's 61st annual Black Tie Celebration, at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, MO.
The evening's events were sponsored by Branson.com, Branson Tourism Center, Golden Corral, Hawthorn Bank, Pickett Ray & Silver, Inc., Skaggs Community Health Center, St. John's Clinic Branson, and Titanic - Branson at the Ruby level. Sapphire level sponsors included Akers & Arney, BOTT Radio Network, CenturyTel, Connell Insurance, Inc., Empire District Electric, Hiltons of Branson - Branson Convention Center, Liberty Bank, Silver Dollar City, and Whisper Cove at the Sapphire level. The Emerald level sponsor was BKD, LLP. The Black Tie Celebration serves as an opportunity to recognize outstanding members of the Branson/Lakes Area community. The awards presented at the 2008 event were:
The Mary Award, named in honor of Mary Herschend and Mary Trimble, the first recipients, was presented to Dr. Charles Spears for his many years of service to the Branson community. The physician began his Branson practice in the early 60's with an open-door policy and a warm heart for many patients without insurance or the ability to pay for services. He has been instrumental in seeking "state of the art" medical care for the Branson/Lakes Area.
The Pioneer Award, recognizing outstanding service to the community in the past, was given to Mark Trimble, past owner of major tourist attractions including Shepherd of the Hills and Fantastic Caverns. Trimble was instrumental—working with Peter Herschend and Pat Jones—in the creative marketing effort during the national gas shortage of the 1970's that led to the creation of the Ozark Marketing Council.
The Ambassador Award acknowledging an individual who has brought attention to the Branson/Lakes community was presented to Jim and Sue Alkire of America's Best Campground for the promotion of Branson in RV/camping trade shows and rallies. They have won the "Welcome Mat Award" from the Good Sam Club for being the most RV-friendly Good Sam Park in the U.S. and Canada for five consecutive years.
The Beautification Award honoring individuals or organizations that enhance the appearance of the community was awarded to God & Country Gardens. Dick and Dawn Easton converted a former go-cart track into a beautifully landscaped area that makes a positive impact on visitors just beginning their trek down Missouri 76. The property also boasts an enormous U.S. flag that can be seen from around the community.
The Community Spirit Award sponsored by Myer Hotels recognizes 'above and beyond' efforts to benefit the Branson community. It was presented to Tim Connell of Connell Insurance for his generous attention to the employees of Tantone Industries, Taney County's sheltered workshop. Connell has provided and served Thanksgiving and Christmas luncheons to the staff for several years. He has provided special touches that include Santa hats, and disposable cameras to record the occasion.
The Care for Kids Award is a new annual award sponsored by the Silver Dollar City Foundation to recognize a person, business or organization providing outstanding leadership and service on behalf of kids in our community. The first recipient was Mary Pierce, a site supervisor at Hollister Schools for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Pierce is an outstanding role model to young people at the school, and spends much of her spare time supporting school activities, and personally impacting the lives of countless young people in need of guidance and support.