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KSMU's Randy Stewart Awarded Ozzie

Randy Stewart, host of "Arts News" on KSMU, was awarded the 2006 individual "Ozzie" by the Springfield Regional Arts Council at a "Black Tie Optional" banquet April 28th. Mike Smith has the story:

The Ozzie Awards are presented to those who have embodied the pioneering creative spirit on the Springfield Arts Scene. Each year an individual is chosen who has promoted, personified, and/or supported artistic achievement in the Springfield area as well as having exhibited extended service in promoting the arts in Springfield. The group award is presented to an organization that has impacted the arts in Springfield. These individuals and groups have been a catalyst for growth and creativity in the Springfield Arts Community.

The 2006 individual Ozzie was presented Friday to KSMU's Randy Stewart, and the group award went to "First Friday Artwalk" which until recently was led by Exectutive Director Cricket Fries.

The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts the annual event which also serves as a platform to recognize those who have made a positive difference in the area travel and tourism industry. Travel and tourism awards Friday were presented in five categories:

The Pinnacle Award will be presented to developer Lee McLean. This award is for individuals who have been active in the travel industry for many years and have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the Springfield area's travel industry. Mr. McLean has built hotels in Springfield and played a major role in business and infrastructure development in the city.

The Spotlight Award will be presented to Karl Plumpe, Associate General Manager of Economic Development for City Utilities of Springfield. This award is for an individual, business or organization not usually considered part of the travel and tourism industry for noteworthy contributions in advancing travel and tourism in the Springfield area. Plumpe played an instrumental role in bringing the Wally Byam Caravan Club to Springfield in 2005.

The Diplomat Award will be presented to Springfield Mayor Tom Carlson. This award is for a government official, organization or employee who has provided significant support to the Springfield area's travel industry. Carlson is a staunch supporter of the industry, including the one-half cent lodging tax increase approved by voters in 2005.

The Hospitality Award will be presented to the Springfield Cardinals. This award is for an attraction, lodging facility or restaurant demonstrating outstanding hospitality to the traveling public and exhibiting a team spirit in promoting the growth of Springfield area travel and tourism. The Cardinals have brought hundreds of baseball fans to Springfield and raised awareness of Springfield as a travel destination.

The Ambassador Award will be presented to Dallas Photopulus, who played a role in bringing the Wally Byam Caravan Club to Springfield, and Allen Wilson, who brings thousands of people to Springfield annually through amateur sporting events.

Proceeds from the banquet benefit the Springfield Regional Arts Council.