The Olde Church to host awards, fundraising event

Published 12:30 am Friday, May 5, 2023

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It’s spring in the Gap and what better way to celebrate our rich mountain heritage than to attend the annual Region Strong Awards Banquet while raising some dollars to keep tourism alive. Make your plans and get your tickets to join the members of the Cumberland Gap Region Tourism Association as they celebrate those in the region who continue to draw revenue to our area.

Carl Nichols, president and CEO of the thriving nonprofit organization cordially invites everyone to attend the event slated for May 15 at the Olde Church Meeting Hall in Cumberland Gap.

Tickets are $30 each and must be purchased in advance one of two ways: either through snail mail no later than May 10 with a check made payable to CGRTA. The mailing address is 613 Main St.; New Tazewell, TN 37825. Or email your requests for ticket reservations to:

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A meet and greet will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served 6–6:30 p.m. The 5th Annual Region Strong Awards Ceremony will officially begin at 7 p.m. and will run until 9 p.m.

Entertainment will be provided by Danielle Walters.

This year’s honored movers and shakers who have contributed greatly in making the Cumberland Gap Region a vacation destination follow:

  • Harlan County Brewing Company
  • Tiffany Hall, Owner/Small Wonders Day Care, Middlesboro, KY
  • Laural Cove Music Festival, Jon Grace, Director, Bell County Tourism
  • Mike Corey, Knox County Clerk, Barbourville, KY
  • Dr. Sky Marietta, Whitley County, KY
  • WLAF Cable Channel 12-TV LaFollette, TN
  • Grainger County Mayor Mike Byrd
  • Vardy Community Historical Society, Hancock County, TN
  • Woodlake Golf, Lodge, and Country Club, Claiborne County
  • Red Gate Events Center, Union County, TN
  • Axe Handle Distillery, Lee County, VA
  • Martin’s Station Pioneer Fort, Wilderness Road State Park, Bill Heck, Director, Ewing, VA
  • John Ravnum, Cumberland Gap
  • Bill McGaffee Memorial Region Strong Award: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  • Cindi Anne Rogers Lifetime Achievement Region Strong Award: Posthumously to Cindi Anne Rogers

This year’s $1,000 Judy Barton Memorial Tourism Scholarship will go to Bell County High School student Bronson Goins.

The Cumberland Gap Region Tourism Association covers 10 counties within a three-state region – Claiborne, Campbell, Grainger, Hancock and Union Counties in Tennessee; Bell, Harlan, Knox and Whitley Counties in Kentucky; and Lee County in Virginia.