Veterans advocate Davis to be presented Freedom Award

By STEPHEN DAWKINS

Staff Writer

Vietnam veteran and local veterans advocate John Mark Davis will be awarded the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Freedom Award at the Chamber’s luncheon on Thursday.

“It is one of our top awards—one of the most prestigious awards we have,” Chamber Executive Director Bill Powell said.

Regions Bank will sponsor the luncheon and the prestigious Freedom Award, which started in 2003 with the intention of recognizing some of Hoover’s most outstanding public servants who have dedicated themselves to the ideals of freedom, according to a press release.

Previous award winners include Art Headley, Bob Mosca, Bill Natter, John O’Malley, A. C. Roper, General Robert Lott (Ret.), Albert Awtrey, Hollis Hayes, Hoover Police Lt. Trey Bass, Rear Admiral John T. (Jack) Natter (Ret.), a current Hoover City Council member, Dan Mikos, Lt. Col. Damon Holditch, and last year’s winner, Michael Thorin.

Applicants for the award:

•Must be a role model in the Hoover community – of good character and reputation in the community;

•Must have shown support for local, state, and federal government;

•Must have promoted the ideals of freedom through this support;

•Must have given long-term service to these ideals, not just a one-time effort;

•Must have supported the U.S. military through either support to, or service in the military;

•Must be a Hoover resident, an employee of the city of Hoover, or employee of a Hoover Chamber of Commerce member.

Davis is in his third year of serving on the Hoover Veterans Committee, according to his nomination, and was instrumental in getting the “Remembering Our Fallen” veterans exhibit displayed.

Davis founded “Vettes 4 Vets” non-profit organization eight years ago to raise money for veterans groups and individual veterans in need.

Davis is also a six-year board member at Aldridge Gardens, where he initiated the program and developed the design and financial plan for the Veterans Memorial Arbor and the Gateway Pentagon.

Davis and his wife, Ann, are expected to attend the luncheon.

Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey will present the award, which was determined by the Hoover Veterans Committee.

The luncheon will be held at Hyatt Regency-The Wynfrey Hotel, located at 1000 Riverchase Galleria in Hoover.

Networking begins at 11:15 a.m., with the program starting at noon.

The luncheon is $20 for members or $25 for non-members, or for those without reservations, if space is available. Payment may be made by cash, check, or major credit card.

Cancellations are accepted until the morning of the luncheon. Please notify the Chamber if you need to cancel; otherwise, those with reservations who do not attend will be invoiced.