The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) Annual Dinner was held on Thursday, March 28th at The Regalia Hotel & Conference Center with over 400 attendees representing numerous local business owners, community and organization leaders, Missouri Lieutenant Governor, Missouri State Representatives, Chamber of Commerce Directors and Missouri Division of Tourism Staff. The evening started with a networking reception centered around a large silent auction and numerous food stations. After a wonderful reception the presentation began.
26 CVB & TCLA board members were recognized for their volunteerism and leadership in promoting tourism in the Lake Area, as well as the CVB & TCLA staff. The Community Foundation presented grants to 25 local organizations with a special check presentation. The primary role of the Community Foundation of the Lake (CFL) is to establish endowed funds for the purpose of conducting a flexible community grant making program, which addresses the most important needs of the community at any one time. The flexibility this requires is made possible by charitable donors who establish unrestricted or field-of-interest funds and place the decision-making in the hands of the community leaders serving on the Board of Directors. Through this CFL grant process, we have defined grant recipients whose goals best align with the CFL mission: “to assist in building the educational, cultural, health and economic development of our community.”
In the past 6 years, we have given over $285,000 back into the Lake Area non-profit community. This year, the CFL awarded the grants to 25 different non-profit organizations. There was an Appreciation Award given to Michelle Cook with FaceLift Marketing for her years of volunteerism to the Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days. CVB Executive Director, Tim Jacobsen, stated, “I personally have to say it has been a pleasure working with Michelle Cook for the past 10 years on community events with all her leadership and organizational skills.”
Members of XO Strategic, David Ficklin & Shane Hackett, discussed the potential of a Destination Tournament Soccer Complex being considered at the Lake of the Ozarks. This facility would cost $25-30 million dollars and would be funded by an increase in the lodging tax to 6%. The 13 tournaments in the Spring, and again in the Fall, would generate approximately $75 million annually in economic spending. The Missouri Lieutenant Governor, Mike Kehoe, then spoke briefly on several initiatives for the state of Missouri where emphasis was placed on building infrastructure, workforce and tourism.
The 2019 Partner In Tourism Award was awarded to individuals that demonstrate leadership in the tourism industry. This year’s recipients of the Partners In Tourism Award are Bud Bolinger & Darin Keim with Big Surf Waterpark. Tim Jacobsen spoke on the award. “Bud Bolinger was born in California, MO, where he was raised and still resides. He is a framer and at one time, he owned and operated the world’s largest poultry marketing firm. Darin Keim was born in Hannibal, MO, and grew up in Louisiana, MO. In 1996, Darin worked for Bud Bolinger as his yard man before working through the ranks at Big Surf Waterpark to General Manager/ Owner. He is active as a youth sports coach, with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association. Tim Jacobsen, Executive Director, stated, “It is an honor to recognize two fine individuals from our community with this prestigious award”.
The evening concluded with the Prayer for Protection that was presented by the CVB Chairman of the Board, Bill Johnson from Eagle’s Nest Properties.