For more than 20 years the Owensboro Black Expo has been giving out three community-based awards, and they are currently accepting nomination’s for this year.
What has become a staple event for the organization will look a little different in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three awards — the President’s Award, the Spirit of Giving Award and the Anna Martin and Letha Buck Award — are presented to deserving individuals in the community.
Owensboro Black Expo Board President Dominique Maddox said the President’s Award recognizes someone between the ages 15-40 and is based on their community involvement, service to others, personal growth and accomplishments.
Maddox said the award is one of her favorites to give.
“The person just shows promise — it’s given to that star in the making,” she said.
The Spirit of Giving Award can go to a company or individual that improves the quality of life in Owensboro and touches the lives of others in the community through their charitable giving or contributions.
The Anna Martin and Letha Buck Award is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond in their volunteer work.
Nominations are open through the end of August and the group is looking at possibly hosting a virtual event in September.
Maddox said over the last few years, the process for getting nominations and choosing people for these awards has also evolved.
“It’s hard trying to keep track of all the good that everybody does,” she said. “We kind of wanted to get the community involved.”
So the OBE started using social media to make the award process a discussion with those in the community.
“We wanted to let people in on the discussion so it wouldn’t be a complete surprise,” Maddox said. “We wanted to let people know who we were discussing and we were trying to choose from and why.
“Some people are really low-key in the things they do, but that doesn’t make the impact any less. The truth is some of the people who got the award 10, 15 years ago are still going just as strong and are just as deserving now.”
Maddox said this year they are having to think outside the box when it comes to the awards ceremony. Typically, the ceremony takes place at a church and the community is encouraged to come out and show their support.
“The bigger the crowd, the better,” she said.
With everything going on right now, Maddox said it’s an especially good time to bring something positive to the community.
“Now it’s more important than ever to bring people together with a sense of unity and empowerment and make everybody feel good about being a part of Owensboro, KY,” she said. “We want to make this the best possible community to live in together.”