The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 97th Annual Celebration of Business & Community February 2 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. The event celebrated the accomplishments of the Chamber and community in 2018 and honored Mr. Dick Trammel for his service to Northwest Arkansas. Below are the awards that were handed out to the very deserving recipients (special thanks to Keith Branch with Branch Photography for providing the photos).
2018 Small Business of the Year: Sam's Furniture
Sam’s Furniture is well known for their passion towards their community.
Sam’s furniture hosted the inaugural Honoring of Heroes Gala, raising over $100,000 to benefit combat veterans and supporting non-profits such as REBOOT Combat Recovery, Military Warriors support, and local non-profit- Sheepdog Impact Assistance.
Each year Sam’s Furniture gives away over $35,000 towards our Teachers Home Makeovers, reaching out to those who love and teach our kids, so well. Sam’s Furniture also began supporting the NWA Children’s Safety Center upon hearing dramatic statistics of how many children benefit from this organization.
Sam’s Furniture has also partnered with The Call NWA in supporting area foster families, aiding in their exponential growth and increasing fundraising by over 200% since 2015.
And when a local furniture retailer suddenly had to close their doors with no notice to their customers, Sam’s furniture took action by fulfilling those customer invoices at no cost.
2018 Ambassador of the Year: Mary Ann Akers
The Ambassador Committee serves as the liaison between the Chamber and our members. They participate in a variety of activities designed to welcome, orient and involve the membership in Chamber activities and promote a better understanding of the Chamber’s mission.
Mary Ann has shown outstanding dedication, service and enthusiasm for our community. This Ambassador volunteered her time at numerous functions, welcoming new businesses to the chamber and attending over 85 ribbon cuttings in 2018.
A true catalyst for our Ambassador program, Mary Ann stepped up to be the Chair of the Ambassador Committee, holding the position with dignity and honor.
Elbert S. Graham/Elza Tucker Award: Bette Tatum
Our highest award for outstanding service to the community of Lowell is the prestigious Elbert S. Graham/Elza Tucker Award, recognizing an individual for significant contribution to the betterment of the Lowell community. This award was first made to Elza Tucker, who passed away this year at the age of 100, in 1977. This year we honor Bette Tatum.
As Former President of the Lowell Kiwanis Club, Bette organized the Family Christmas food baskets, was instrumental in the Lowell Kiwanis sale of poinsettias for the Lowell Children Christmas fund, and shops every year for under privileged kids at Christmas. Bette is a huge supporter of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital walk for kids. She has served First Baptist Church of Lowell in many ways through the years, including organizing and overseeing the food pantry. She started a program called Angie’s Closet that provides clothes to those in need and is named after longtime Lowell leader Angie Bishop. She was in charge of the kitchen at First Baptist Lowell and has prepared enough meals to literally feed thousands.
Bette is always out front leading the effort to help a family in need with food, clothes and even furniture. There are so many ways that Bette has served her community it is virtually impossible to count.
The Spirit Award: Northwest Arkansas Food Bank
The Spirit Award, which began in 1983, is given to a business, organization, or group of individuals that have engaged in unusually significant, worthwhile activities benefiting the community and / or the region. Tonight, we award the NWA Food Bank with this special award.
The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank was chartered in 1988 by a group of concerned citizens who felt strongly that those neighbors who struggled to put food on the table needed help, and for 30 years the Food Bank has done just that, distributing over 100 Million pounds of food to those in need.
As a member of Feeding America, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank serves Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington Counties, and assists others in need regardless of their locations by regularly sharing excess product with Foodbanks across Arkansas and across the country.
There are approximately 65,000 food insecure residents of the four counties. Last year the Food Bank set the aggressive goal that by the year 2025 each of the four counties 65,000 food insecure residents will have reasonable access to all the food they need. Moreover, 75 % of that food would be defined as nutritious.
Most of the food insecure of northwest Arkansas are served through food pantries, 160 of which partner with the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank to receive over 75% of the food they distribute. The Food Bank has expanded their own mobile distribution service to 12 locations, and recently supported local unpaid TSA agents by sending the Food Bank’s mobile pantry to XNA Regional Airport.
Thirty years after it began, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank approaches every day with the same thought, “One hungry person is one too many.”
Dick Trammel Rogers Good Neighbor Award: Dick Trammel
The Dick Trammel Rogers Good Neighbor Award was first awarded in 1974. It is the Rogers community’s highest honor. The award is presented each year in recognition of an individual who has contributed to the betterment of Rogers and Northwest Arkansas.
From its beginning, this award is about the impact someone makes to our community and to and to those who live and work here. And bears the name of our biggest cheerleader, Dick Trammel.
This recipient has defined his profession, his state, his region, and his community. He has mentored hundreds of individuals and spent untold hours helping the less fortunate. If there is a worthy cause he’s leading the way with word and deed. He lives by the motto one of his mentors who said, “It’s not what you gather in life, it’s what you scatter” When he’s around “Every Day is Like Christmas” Our Dick Trammel Good Neighbor Award winner, is Dick Trammel.
Congratulations to all of our award winners! We look forward to our 98th Celebration of Business & Community in 2020.