Old Town Cape awards Dr. Steven Hoffman with volunteer, visionary awards at annual banquet

Friday, February 19, 2010
Old Town Cape executive director Marla Mills, left, poses with Dr. Steven Hoffman at the group's banquet Thursday. (Brian Blackwell)

Dr. Steven Hoffman presented several awards Thursday night during the Old Town Cape annual dinner but little did the Southeast Missouri State University professor realize he later would be one of the recipients.

For the first time in its history, Old Town Cape organizers honored one person, Hoffman, with two of the organization's highest awards at its dinner, which drew 160 people. Normally given independent of one another, the Volunteer of the Year and Charles L. Hutson Visionary Award recognize those who have given significant amounts of time to Old Town Cape and provided vision and leadership for the downtown area.

"I'm nearly speechless," Hoffman said. "When I start thinking about Charles Hutson and other visionaries and volunteers whose efforts have helped shape and revitalize downtown, it becomes very humbling."

A board member since Old Town Cape was formed in July 1999, Hoffman's involvement includes helping formulate the DREAM, or Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri, Initiative and Downtown Strategic Plan, both initiatives designed to help revitalize and grow the downtown area.

Three people in addition to Hoffman received awards.

Jayne Scherrman was presented with the Judith Ann Crow Residential Historic Preservation award for rehabilitating her home at 129 S. Lorimier St. Work on the residence built in 1896 and 1897 included exterior and interior rehabilitation as well as rehabilitating a carriage house on the property.

Mike Hess was given the John Boardman Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation award. The owner of Breakaways Bar and Billiards, Hess restored the property at 15 N. Main St. last year, as he returned the building's facade to closely match its original storefront and renovated the interior of the structure.

Chad Hartle of RCH Development received the Old Town Cape Preservation of Heritage Award for restoring the old Schultz School into 45 senior apartments. Using tax credits, Hartle turned the school into affordable senior housing while preserving the original character of the building, constructed in 1915.

The old Schultz School also will be represented in the 2010 Christmas ornament. Available in late September, the ornaments represent a historic place, landmark or place of interest.



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