For the sixth consecutive year, the cities of Bristol Virginia and Bristol Tennessee are jointly honoring individuals and organizations that have exhibited outstanding dedication and service to their communities by bestowing on them the Mayors' Award of Distinction.
Three recipients are being honored with the awards, determined by a specially appointed award panel comprised of community leaders.
These winners join an elite roster of 20 other individuals and organizations who have received the award since its inception in 2008.
The 2013 Mayors' Award of Distinction recipients are:
Team Bristol Crossroads Medical
A dedicated team of nine loyal volunteers, "Team Bristol" works tirelessly to provide access to health care to the uninsured of Bristol. "Team Bristol is instrumental in providing roughly 1100 medical visits annually in Bristol. Every encounter is cloaked in respect and love for the patients served.
As a businessman and business owner in the community, Sid Oakley has been a stellar contributor to the local economy for many years. Some of his most noteworthy accomplishments are seen in his untiring commitment to the multitude of boards, organizations, clubs and committees on which he has served over the past 50 years. Among many other achievements, Oakley is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Bristol Community Breakfast Steering Committee which, for the past 15 years has brought hundreds of people together to hear noted celebrities share their faith and life experiences.
Sandra Willis has been on the Board of Directors of the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry for many years, but has never lost her enthusiasm for everything the pantry does. Taking her volunteer efforts to the next level, Willis steps in to make sure the hungry are fed, even it if means cooking and delivering the meals herself. She is an active member and volunteer with many local organizations, including Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, Bristol Family Promise, Meals on Wheels, Bristol Faith in Action, Healing Hands Health Center, and State Street United Methodist Church.
Sponsored jointly by the mayoral offices of Bristol Virginia and Bristol Tennessee, the awards will be officially presented by Bristol, Virginia Mayor, Jim Steele and Bristol, Tennessee Mayor, Joel Staton, at a public ceremony to be held at 2 pm. on May 5 at the Paramount Center for the Arts, Downtown Bristol.
The presentation will be open to the public and includes a keynote address by Travis Taylor. Taylor is an aerospace engineer, optical scientist, science fiction author, and star of National Geographic Channel's Rocket City Rednecks. He has written more than 25 technical papers, 14 science fiction novels and two textbooks, and has appeared in multiple television documentaries, including National Geographic Channel's recently highly-rated special When Aliens Attack.
Established in 2008, the Mayors' Award of Distinction annually recognizes up to three individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a single outstanding act or contribution or a series of acts or contributions that have made a significant, lasting impact on the Bristol community through services to the arts, industry, commerce, entertainment, education or the welfare of others. The award can also recognize someone who has achieved regional, national or international recognition, while promoting Bristol in the process.