The Riverbend Growth Association held its annual dinner on Thursday, and honored several local businesses and individuals for their contributions to the community in 2015.  The Alton Regional Convention and Visitor’s Bureau shared the stage to hand out its own awards to those promoting tourism over the past year.

Both organizations honored Pat Ackman for her work in leading the effort to bring a Miles Davis statue to downtown Alton.  Alton CVB President Brett Stawar says it didn’t take long to get the ball rolling:

Click for Stawar comment

Later in the evening, Steve Thompson of CNB Bank and Trust was honored for the developing the concept of the Reach Out and Read Program in the Alton School District.   Outgoing RBGA Board President Karen Cooper from Illinois American Water says Thompson's idea was bold, but has been very successful:

Click for Cooper comment

Also recognized last night were Lewis and Clark Community College and the Gateway Chapter National MS Society for the Bike MS Event.  The Growth Association honored Pat Schwarte from as the Ambassador of the Year for the second year in a row, and each of the Small Businesses of the Month were recognized from 2015, including WBGZ Radio.


(Top Photo:  Karen Wilson honors Pat Ackman, with Brett Stawar and Ann Badasch)

(Middle Photo:  Karen Cooper honors LCCC and Bike MS)

(Bottom Photo: Cooper greets Steve Thompson)

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/