1st time award presented at Jefferson chamber banquet
JEFFERSON -- The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and City of Jefferson joined together recently to honor the newest of the city’s standout organizations.
The first-ever Jefferson Award -- created and approved Jan. 3 by the Jefferson Common Council -- was presented to the Jefferson Live Music Foundation during the chamber’s annual banquet.
The foundation provides the Rotary Waterfront Park concerts in the summer, as well as various other music and entertainment events.
“For the 2019 Jefferson Award, the Jefferson City Council unanimously agreed to award the first Jefferson Award to the Jefferson Live Music Foundation,” Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann said, adding, “in recognition of their presenting concerts in Rotary Waterfront Park nearly every week during the summer months and installing a colorful display of ‘Winter Nights, River Lights’ in the park during the holiday season.”
Accepting the award on behalf of the Jefferson Live Music Foundation were Kyle Tully, the group’s president, and board member Staci Hoffman.
â€‹Tully, who also was named the “Small Businessman of the Year,” said that he found out about the Jefferson Award from the mayor the day after the common council approved both the award and recipient.
Tully said that the small group of volunteers that runs the organization, as well as the sponsors who pay for the bands so that the event can remain free, are critical parts of making the concerts at Rotary Waterfront Park work.
“It’s pretty cool,” Tully said. “We’re just a small group, but we’re a small group of hard-working people.”
The Jefferson Live Music Foundation, Tully said, gave back more than $6,000 to various service groups and organizations in the community.
“Between the lights and the concerts, it’s something free that’s family friendly,” Tully said. “Every hot dog, hamburger, soda, beer, goes back to these organizations.”
Although he said the concert slate for 2019 wouldn’t be announced until April, Tully did tease that there would be some of both new acts and returnees.
“We’re in the middle of booking bands right now, but we’ll announce everything at our one fundraiser at the end of April,” he told the chamber members during the annual dinner at Neighbors.
Oppermann said the award is critical in honoring a portion of the community for which there is no specific honor.
“There’s really no way of recognizing an organization or a business,” Oppermann said, noting that the goal of the award is to recognize the efforts of a person, business or organization that has made a significant positive impact on the quality of life in the city.
The mayor will nominate a potential recipient each December, subject to approval and confirmation by the Jefferson Common Council. At the Jan. 3 meeting, the council not only agreed with the concept, but unanimously approved the first choice of honoree.
Oppermann said Thursday night that it was a privilege to announce the award, and then Tully spoke for the second time.
“We’re a very small group. It’s a good group of people,” Tully said. “We could not have (the concerts) be free to the community without the businesses who support the bands. It’s just the way of keeping things free for the community.”