2009 Humanitarian of the Year Announced

CAPTION: Jewell Thompson Schweitzer (far left) and Dr. Tom Prater, CFO Board Chair (far right) presents Dusty Shaw with the 2009 award.

The 2009 Humanitarian of the Year Award was presented to Roger D. (Dusty) Shaw, Jr. and William Shaw by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks at its twentieth annual Humanitarian Award Luncheon held at the Doubletree Hotel in Springfield, Mo on December 8, 2009. An independent committee under the auspices of the Chair-Elect of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce selected the Shaws of Thomasville, Mo, for their many years of service to Howell, Shannon and Oregon county communities.

The Shaw brothers own Eleven Point Ranch and have made enormous contributions to their community. They worked tirelessly to renovate and resurrect the abandoned school in Thomasville transforming it to a community center that houses the public library, a museum and community meeting rooms. Dusty has been invaluable to the Thomasville Volunteer Fire Department for many years, even fighting fires himself. William has served on the board of Christos House, a local safe house for abused women in the area.

Dusty and William also understand the importance of educating children and its impact on the economic growth of the area. Two scholarships in their parents’ names have been established at Missouri State University – West Plains where 22 students have already benefited. The Shaws also support the Mtn. View campus of Southwest Baptist University and the Alton Public School Foundation. The Shaws are equally committed to rural healthcare and have supported the Ozarks Medical Center and OMC Foundation in West Plains. Dusty currently serves as chair of the OMC Foundation board of directors.

Missouri State University – West Plains’s Chancellor Drew Bennett stated that “their contributions to healthcare, education and conservation have advanced the quality of life for our area residents.”

Nominator Brenda Ledgerwood, president of the Alton Public Schools Foundation said this about Dusty and William Shaw, “they know that rural community survival depends on commitment to not only the preservation of the physical community itself, but also to the health, education and welfare of its citizens.”

The Humanitarian of the Year award was established by Springfield’s Jewell Thompson Schweitzer to “honor someone in our community who has, at great personal sacrifice, extended services, time and resources towards helping others, and to recognize the cause and work of such individuals.” Annually, the fund makes possible a cash award of $3,000 to be divided equally among the Humanitarian and charities of the individual’s choice.This year, the Shaws asked the entire amount be granted to the Ozarks Medical Center Foundation for its capital campaign.

William Shaw was unable to attend the luncheon.