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Downtown association honors businesses

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The Downtown Springfield Association last night held its first Downtown Awards and Auction event, honoring companies and businesspeople for their efforts to grow the urban area.

Gathering at Missouri Spirits, nearly 200 people attended the event that honored the McQueary family with the top award, the Tom Billionis Lifetime Achievement Award, according to a news release. The award is named after the late founder of The Coffee Ethic.

Downtown Council of Champions President Brian Fogle presented the award to Rick McQueary, pointing to his family’s work to transform “downtown Springfield into a true destination," according to the release.

Rick McQueary’s sons, John and Billy McQueary, in 2015 opened the $13 million Hotel Vandivort. They recently announced plans to double its size with a second building northwest of the current property.

The DSA selected The Vecino Group as developer of the year; IntrinsiQ as business of the year; and The Downtown Church as volunteer of the year, according to the release.

Additionally, more than 800 votes were cast for People’s Choice awards. The winners were Lost Signal Brewing Co., new hospitality of the year; Originate, new office of the year; and Five Pound Apparel’s Brina Thomas, urban-legend-in-the-making.

The event’s auction raised some $3,000 for nonprofits including Moxie Cinema, the Discovery Center and Ozarks Food Harvest, according to the release.

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