Published Online: Mar 4, 2013

Awards Presented at Branson's Most Prestigious Event

Bethany Thomas
Sr. Vice President
417-334-4084 ext. 321

BRANSON, MO – More than 600 Chamber members celebrated the presentation of six annual community awards at the 66th Annual Meeting/Black Tie Celebration of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Branson’s most glamorous event was held at the Branson Convention Center & Hilton Hotel, and the event’s top sponsor was the newly named area healthcare organization, Cox Medical Center Branson.

The prestigious “Mary Award”, named in honor of Mary Herschend and Mary Trimble, both instrumental in the development of Branson’s entertainment offerings, was presented to local philanthropist Leon Combs. The nomination of Combs included a long list of contributions to the community, including his support of Skaggs Regional Medical Center (now Cox Medical Center Branson), and Branson’s Centennial Celebration in 2012. The “Pioneer Award”, given to someone demonstrating outstanding service to the community at least 15 years ago, was given to Glenn Robinson, who started his business in Branson by selling pottery in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  His current business operation, Grand Country, includes a hotel, indoor mini-golf, theater, indoor water park, and more.  

The Grand Village was honored with the “Beautification Award” for the extensive work done to enhance the appearance of this unique shopping destination.  Landscaping and painting were among the significant improvements making this center more appealing to visitors and residents alike. For showing great ambassadorship on behalf of the area, local attorney, David Smith, was acknowledged with the “Ambassador Award” for his leadership in the merger of Skaggs with Cox Medical Center, a significant event that will enhance health care services available to the greater Branson area.

Given to honor someone providing outstanding service on behalf of kids, the Silver Dollar City Foundation sponsored “Care For Kids Award” was presented to Karen Hall with Ozark Mountain Bank. Her work with students at Branson schools her most noted contribution, but her love of children goes far beyond the schools and includes support of area charities serving children. The “Community Spirit Award”, sponsored by Myer Hotels, presented to someone going ‘above and beyond’ to benefit another local business or the community, was awarded to Hollister City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss.  Hands on assistance for Hollister community events, being instrumental in the development of the Taney County Business Development Partnership, helping to spearhead projects to promote economic development in conjunction with environmental protection, are among the many contributions of Ziegenfuss.

In addition to the Gala Sponsor, Cox Medical Center Branson, other Chamber members stepped up with cash sponsorships of Branson Chamber’s biggest annual event, including: Arvest Bank; Branson Airport; Patient PAL; Titanic Branson; BKD, CPAs; Branson Tri-Lakes News; Branson’s IMAX® Entertainment Complex; CenturyLink; Commercial 1 Brokers; Mercy; Sight & Sound; SIX; Connell Insurance; Empire District Electric; Madden Media; Emery, Sapp & Sons, Inc.; Akers & Arney Insurance; Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation; The Track Family Fun Parks; and the Whitlock Company.  Service sponsors were Creative Printing & Design, Lindwedel Winery, Seasons Events & Interior Design, Tatman’s Fine Jewelry, Digital Lunchbox, Galleria Engraving, Branson Party Rentals and SwiftShots Photography.  Table Sponsors were:  Andy Williams, Bank of Missouri, Bott Radio, Branson Bank, Branson Moose Lodge, Branson Visitor TV, Branson Wedding Affiliate, Executive Delivery Service, Golden Corral, Hiltons of Branson, Hotel Grand Victorian, KOLR 10/KOZL, KPM, Liberty Bank, OTC, Ozark Mountain Bank, Radisson Hotel, Reserve Direct, Service Master, Silver Dollar City, SIX, Skaggs Foundation, Steak & Shake, 3 Pointe Restaurant Group (Freddy’s), US Bank, White River Valley Electric Cooperative & Windstream.