Dr. David and Linda Brown, who are utilizing their nonprofit, The Gathering Tree, to develop Eden Village, were selected as the 28th annual recipients of the Humanitarian Award.
The Browns are scheduled to receive the award during a Dec. 6 luncheon at DoubleTree Hotel, according to a news release issued this morning by Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
The couple are the founders of The Gathering Tree, umbrella organization of Eden Village, a planned 4.5-acre, 30-unit housing project designed to help the homeless at 2801 E. Division St. Three of the development’s $30,000, 400-square foot homes have been installed, and officials have raised $1.3 million toward a $2.4 million fundraising goal, David Brown said this morning.
“I’m very surprised,” Brown said of the Humanitarian Award. “We’re doing this because we love it. We’re so happy to get it because it puts our name out there and our project out there, because our biggest thing is trying to raise money.”
Officials expect the first move-in next summer and up to 30 units occupied by the end of 2018. Brown said The Gathering Tree would begin buying about one home per week in January.
For the annual Humanitarian Award, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce organizes a committee to review nominations and select the annual recipient, while CFO manages the fund established in 1990 by Jewell Thompson Schweitzer. The winner receives a $5,000 cash reward, which is traditionally donated to charity, according to the release.
This year’s selection committee comprised Doug Neff, Linda Ramey-Greiwe, Bob Hammerschmidt, the Rev. Michael Overton, Francine Pratt, Robert Spence and the Rev. Mark Struckhoff.
Last year’s Humanitarian Award recipient was Hearld Ambler, BKD LLP’s first managing partner 1976-1986. He was honored for his work helping the elderly prepare their tax returns.
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