The annual membership and award banquet hosted by the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce will be held this Saturday, April 13, in the Ava Middle School cafeteria. The event starts at 6:00 p.m.
The theme for this year’s banquet is Bloom where you are planted…Grow Your Community.
Members are asked to bring a favorite side dish, casserole or dessert to share, as the Chamber will furnish the main entree and refreshments.
During the evening festivities, several annual service awards will be announced, including recipients of the John Dickison Award, Will McFarlin Youth Award, and the Treasure of the Ozarks GEM Award.
The John N. Dickison Award was established in 1989. It was created by the Chamber as a way to recognize an outstanding citizen of the community for longstanding community service, volunteerism and dedication to the area.
Nominees this year are Vernon Johnson, Marty Solomon, Joshua Browning, Nina Carter, and Joe Corum.
The Will McFarlin Youth Award was established in 1995. This honor is given in recognition of an outstanding high school youth of good reputation, with a heart for community service, volunteerism, and dedication to our community.
Past recipients of the Will McFarlin Youth Service Award are Will McFarlin in 1995, and Ben Watson, Eric Stephens, Sara Luna, Joy Uhles, Clint Overstreet, Jeremy Coats, Bridget Loftin, Aaron Stanton, and more.
Nominees this year are Anthony Merriett, Brody Tidwell, Carter Crews, Julia Henry, Hunter Downs, Allyson Roberts, Ariel Conrad, Wyatt Barrus, Tristan LaPoint, Grace Key, Kayden Myers, Emaly Keyes, Hannah Stafford, and Mason Cole.
Nominees for the annual GEM award are True Brew, Bread of Life Giving and Sharing; Douglas County Missouri Fire Chiefs Association; Archie’s Family Restaurant; City of Ava Fire Department; Ava Rural Fire Department; Ava Ambulance District/Cox Ambulance; Cash Gas; and Master Dream USA Sawmill.
During dinner, students with the Ozarks String Project, directed by Barbara Deegan, will perform.
The evening event also offers a silent auction fundraiser, door prizes and contests for best-dressed, best decorated table, and best food dishes.
If additional information is needed, please contact the Chamber office by calling (417) 683-4594.