February 05, 2018
The Downtown Springfield Association hosted the annual Downtown Awards and Auction on the evening of February 1, 2018. The event, which attracted nearly 200 Downtowners, recognized several individuals and groups for their contributions to downtown—including the McQueary family, the 2018 recipients of the Tom Billionis Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Tom Billionis Lifetime Achievement Award was created in honor of The Coffee Ethic founder Tom Billionis, who passed away in 2016. The award was presented by Brian Fogle, the current president of the Downtown Council of Champions.
“Tom was an encourager, a teacher and a role model,” said Fogle while presenting the award. “Through his magnetic personality, The Coffee Ethic quickly became an entrepreneurial incubator for a wide variety of downtown businesses.” Fogle presented Rick McQueary with the award, noting the family’s dedication to “transforming downtown Springfield into a true destination.”
More than 800 votes were cast for the People’s Choice awards categories, which were available digitally for several weeks prior to the event. The winners are listed below:
The Downtown Springfield Association selected the following honorees based on their contributions to the downtown community:
Auction proceeds support local nonprofits
The event also raised more than $3,000 for local nonprofits through a variety of downtown auction packages. Each live auction package benefited a local nonprofit including Moxie Cinema, Discovery Center, Ozark Greenways, Ozarks Food Harvest, Springfield Regional Arts Council, History Museum on the Square and Springfield Sculpture Walk.
The event recognized individual achievements, but it also celebrated a monumental year in downtown development. “More people are living, working and playing in downtown than ever before,” says Downtown Springfield Association Executive Director Rusty Worley. “The Downtown Springfield Association team is making great strides with the addition of two energetic professionals, a new website and a new membership program in 2017. We’re just getting started, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.”
The Physique Fitness crew partied down at the GoSloMo slow-motion video booth.
The Downtown Awards & Auction is managed by the Downtown Springfield Association and presented by the Downtown Council of Champions, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening the economic vitality of downtown Springfield.