Ambler, whose long record of community service includes helping senior citizens prepare tax returns for the past 27 years, was nominated by the SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging and the Senior Foundation of the Ozarks for his service as a volunteer, mentor, wise leader and friend for the SeniorAge’s Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. It offers free tax counseling to residents 60 and over at a number of sites, including senior centers.
Ambler also has served other area organizations, including Friends of the Zoo and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, where he was one of 11 founders of the region’s public charitable foundation in 1973. He served the CFO in various volunteer roles for 38 years and established the Hearld and Marge Ambler Scholarship Fund, which offers a preference for accounting majors.
“His gentle smile, calming demeanor and ‘wink of assurance’ have comforted confused tax filers, frazzled tax volunteers and over-their-head TCE coordinators,” wrote nominator June Huff. “Because of Hearld, we’ve all been able to say ‘I believe I can do this’ and then proven we can.”
Ambler retired in 1986 from BKD, LLP, where he worked as its first Managing Partner from 1976-1986.
CFO’s annual Humanitarian Award was created by Mrs. Jewell Thompson Schweitzer to honor individuals in our region who place service to others as the primary motivating force in their lives. The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce organizes a committee to review nominations and select the annual recipient. The winner receives a $5,000 cash award, which he or she has traditionally donated to a favorite charity.
Past Humanitarian Award recipients:
2015 – Kurt Larson, Springfield attorney and founder of Safe and Sober Missouri anti-drug and -alcohol program for teens
2014 – Morey Mechlin, retired executive director of Care to Learn, advocacy on behalf of children
2013 – Shawn Askinosie, socially conscious entrepreneur and philanthropist
2012 – Randy Russell, advocate for the arts and children
2011 – Roseann Bentley, lifetime of community service
2010 – Doug Pitt, Care to Learn and efforts in Tanzania
2009 – Roger D. “Dusty” Shaw Jr. and William Shaw, work in Thomasville and Oregon County
2008 – Bill Stalnaker, Boys and Girls Club and The Kitchen
2007 – Marie Prater, The Kitchen Foundation
2006 – Pat Walker, Founders Park and Springfield beautification
2005 – Bill & Virginia Darr, Families for Children
2004 – Dr. Judith Gonzalez, Hand in Hand Ministries
2003 – Wade E. Palmer, Help Give Hope
2002 – Dr. John Bentley, Health needs of the underserved
2001 – Harold Bengsch, Springfield-Greene County Health Department
2000 – Judge Thomas Mountjoy, Teen Court
1999 – Paul & Cyndy Teas, Camp Barnabas
1998 – John Harp, Greene County Foster Program
1997 – Dr. Jim Blaine, Greene County Medical Society
1996 – E.E. “Johnny” Johnson, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mo
1995 – Rev. Dorsey Levell, Council of Churches of the Ozarks
1994 – Linda Duncan and Janie Brunette, Multiple Sclerosis Wellness Program
1993 – Leonard Spellman, Children’s Shoe Bank/Kiwanis
1992 – Calvin Allen, Springfield Community Center
1991 – Sister Lorraine Biebel, The Kitchen
1990 – Mary Beth O’Reilly, Hospice