The City of Arkansas City’s 10th annual Joe B. Avery Community Spirit Award presentation will return next week as part of a new Arkalalah Festival tradition.
A special awards presentation ceremony and reception will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Wright Room at Cowley College’s Brown Center, 215 S. Second St. Social time starts at 5:45 p.m.
Jill Hunter will be the award recipient for 2019. She is being honored for her work with community groups including Angels in the Attic, the Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Bobby Estus Memorial Bike Ride and Soroptimist International of Arkansas City.
Hunter, who was honored last year with RCB Bank’s Community Builder Award and served as 2018 Arkalalah Grand Marshal, also was instrumental this year in raising funds to support a new Summer Solstice Celebration on June 21 in Wilson Park.
This award was given each year from 2009 through 2016 during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Unity at Cowley College. It was resurrected in 2018 as part of a kickoff event for Arkalalah, with several award recipients being honored for both 2017 and 2018 in a similar recognition ceremony.
In addition to serving as the 10th anniversary of this distinguished and illustrious award, Tuesday night’s ceremony also will be very special in another way: The committee will honor a community member posthumously for her many contributions to Arkansas City and Cowley County when the late Donna Avery is recognized with a certificate for Special Distinction in Community Service.
This award will be presented to the family of Avery, who 10 years ago received the first-ever Joe B. Avery Community Spirit Award in 2009 on behalf of her late husband, the award’s namesake.