First National Bank of Griffin was named the 2012 Business of the Year for its continuous support of all GAAA organizations - among them the Main Street Players, the Griffin Choral Arts and the Griffin Area Concert Association.
As the awards nomination process took about two years to design, the GAAA presented the 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award to Joe McKaughan and the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award to Bob and Luisa Schmutzler. McKaughan was nominated by the Griffin Choral Arts, and the Schmutzlers were nominated by the Griffin Area Concert Association.
Other nominees were Norma Richardson, Sande Cropsey, Rick Blackshear and Dr. and Mrs. Gayle Goodin.
Also recognized at the ceremony were Susanna Kimbell, Mary Beth McDougal, Michaela Perdue, Maddie Klemm and Bethany Flournoy, who all received youth awards for exceptional service to the local arts community.
“The awards are intended to recognize those who have volunteered and assisted GAAA’s member organizations over many years, tirelessly, continually and without pay,” said GAAA President Newton Galloway.
“Joe McKaughan has worked for every organization under the GAAA umbrella since he returned to Griffin from New York years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Schmutzler have volunteered their time, talents and services for more than 25 years,” Galloway said. “These efforts merit recognition because their work has contributed to advance the quality of life in Griffin and Spalding County.”
Aside from the presentation of awards, the drama departments of Griffin and Spalding high schools gave performances from their spring musicals, as Griffin High School culinary arts students catered for the event.
“It was a great night,” said GAAA Board Member Elizabeth Benz, adding that the Heart for the Arts awards brought awareness to the art scene in Griffin. “We have a lot of organizations in our community that do wonderful things.”