The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) held its annual dinner on Thursday, March 15th at The Lodge of Four Seasons. Over 350 attendees represented numerous local business owners, community and organization leaders, Missouri State Representatives, Chamber of Commerce Directors and Missouri Division of Tourism Staff. The evening began with a networking reception centered around a large silent auction, followed by dinner and the presentation.
There was a short presentation by Lagina Fitzpatrick with Tri-County Lodging Association and Jeff Dorhauer with Osage Beach Fire Protection District on the 2018 & 2020 Can-Am Police and Fire Games coming to the Lake of the Ozarks in June. Several of the CVB & TCLA board members and staff were recognized for their volunteerism and leadership in promoting tourism in the Lake Area.
The Community Foundation of the Lake President stated, “We are honored to be here tonight to award the 2018 Community Foundation of the Lake grant recipients with a special check ”. The primary role of the Community Foundation of the Lake (CFL) is to establish endowed funds for the purpose of conducting a flexible community grantmaking program, which addresses the most important needs of the community. The CFL awards grants to recipients whose goals align with the Foundation’s mission“ to assist in building the educational, cultural, health and economic development of our community.”
In the past 5 years, the CFL has given over $250,000 back into the Lake Area non-profit community. The CFL awarded grants to: Big Brothers Big Sisters, CADV, Camden County Child Advocacy, Camdenton RIII Schools Laser Robotics Program and Buddy Packs Program, Can-Am Police & Fire Games, Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption, Children’s Learning Center, Concerns of Police Survivors, Food for Morgan County, Kids Harbor, Lake Arts Council, Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club, Lamb House, Medical Missions for Christ, Osage Beach Senior Center, Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, Westlake Aquatic Center & Wonderland Camp.
There was an appreciation Award given to Bill Johnson with Eagle’s Nest Properties for his years of volunteerism the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau. CVB Executive Director, Tim Jacobsen, stated, “I personally have to say it has been a pleasure working with Bill Johnson for my entire 12 years as Executive Director of the Lake of the Ozarks CVB.”
The 2017 Partner In Tourism Award was awarded to Dick & Kym Ebling (pictured) with the Topsider Nightclub, Poop Deck & Tiki Bar. Recipients of this award are individuals that demonstrate leadership in the tourism industry.
Tim Jacobsen, CVB Executive Director, spoke about the recipients saying, “Dick & Kym Ebling both graduated from Mizzou with degrees in Education, both taught in St. Louis and Jefferson City. Dick & Kym purchased the Clown in 1975. In 1978tragedy struck, [and] their home was robbed and burned to the ground. Dick & Kym took the insurance money and bought a double-wide trailer to live in and spent the rest to build the Poop Deck in 1979. The success of the Poop Deck lead to the idea of adding something for year-round business and the Topsider was built in 1981. From there Dick & Kym would go on to add a dance club in 1987, the pool in 1988 and the pool bar in 1989. Along the way, Dick & Kym added new decks, an entrance, kitchen, and docks. The last large bar was added in 2002 with the Tiki bar and sand volleyball court on the water’s edge that became a favorite spot for boaters to hang out. 44 years later I think everyone that knows Dick & Kym would agree they have been pioneers and visionaries that have led the way for various and many waterfront bars and restaurants the Lake has today.”
The evening concluded with the Prayer for Protection that was presented by the CVB Chairman of the Board, Bill Johnson from Eagle’s Nest Properties.