Humanitarian Award Applications Accepted

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Humanitarian Award to honor a southwest Missouri resident for service that contributes to the betterment of his or her community.

This year will mark the 27th annual Humanitarian Award, which was founded by longtime Community Foundation of the Ozarks supporter Jewell Thompson Schweitzer.

The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Nominations can be submitted online at:

Nominations also may be e-mailed or mailed to Suzette West with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce at:; or Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 2015 Humanitarian Award, P.O. Box 1687, Springfield, MO 65801.

The criteria for the award describe a humanitarian as “an individual who has the courage to take decisive action, the wisdom to face aggressive challenges, and the willingness to sacrifice to affect these causes that have a long-term impact on the betterment of the community.”  The award is designed to recognize a living person; posthumous nominations are not accepted. More information about the criteria is available at:

The nominations will be evaluated by an independent committee of three members of the clergy and three community leaders under the direction of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s luncheon to honor the 2016 Humanitarian will take place at noon, Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Doubletree Hotel in Springfield.

Recent honorees include the 2015 Humanitarian Kurt Larson, founder of Missouri Safe and Sober (pictured with Jewell Thompson Schweitzer); 2014 Humanitarian Morey Mechlin, retired executive director for Care to Learn honored for her community service and longtime advocacy for children; and Shawn Askinosie, who was recognized in 2013 for his efforts to feed and educate kids in multiple countries and for using his business skills to train Springfield students.

The winner receives a $5,000 cash award, which he or she has traditionally donated to a favorite charity.

For more information, contact: Louise Knauer, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing,; or (417) 864-6199.