Enola Gay navigator to speak in city

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

Natchez &8212; The 2005 Annual Natchez- Adams County Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner will be held Dec. 15 at the Natchez Convention Center.

A 6 p.m. reception will be followed by dinner, the awards ceremony and an a keynote address from Major &8220;Dutch&8221; Van Kirk, navigator of the Enola Gay.

In addition to the three awards regularly given, the Chamber has added a special honor, the Community Champion Award.

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&8220;It&8217;s not going to be given every year, we just decided that someone needed to be honored who had gone above and beyond the call of duty in community service,&8221; awards dinner chairman Janet Sullivan said.

The Athena Award is given to a person who shows great involvement in the community and helps to open doors for women in the community.

Agnes Holloway of United Mississippi Bank won the award last year.

The Natchezian Award goes to the person who has done the most to promote Natchez outside the area.

Last year&8217;s recipient was Judge John Hudson.

The Business of the Year Award recognizes a business for its contribution to the community.

The Isle of Capri was selected for the 2004 award.

The recipients of the awards will remain secret until the dinner.

After the ceremony, the chamber will honor a living piece of American history.

Major Van Kirk was 24 years old when he navigated the B-29 Superfortress on its mission to drop the world&8217;s first atomic bomb &8212; &8220;Little Boy&8221; &8212; on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. He will speak about the mission and take questions from the audience.

&8220;It is the 60th anniversary of V-J Day and his being a member of the greatest generation and his involvement in helping us preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today, we wanted to honor his courage and commitment of America,&8221; Sullivan said.

Individual tickets to the event are $75. There are three levels of sponsorship available.

For information, call the chamber office at (601) 445-4611.