Stuart honored for fundraising efforts

Creator of the Denim and Diamonds fundraiser Patricia Stuart is this year's recipient of the Ava Moore Award from the Friends of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

The 2017 recipient of the annual Ava Moore Award given by the Friends of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum has gone to former Friends of the Museum board member Patricia Stuart.

Stuart served on the board for five years and has had a key role in the acquirement of many temporary exhibits, said Friends of the Museum Chairman Susanne Dressel.

"Patsy was a hard worker and she was a good planner," Dressel said. "She had lots of contacts in the community because she grew up in Starkville and lived here most of her life. She is very involved in our community and maintaining the history of our community."

The Ava Moore Award is named for the former president of the board who died while serving the museum. It was created in Moore's honor and goes to someone who has made contributions to the museum, from serving on its boards or committees to helping through volunteering or fundraising.

Stuart created the museum's largest fundraiser, Denim and Diamonds, which meets each August to raise money for upkeep and projects around the museum. She headed the fundraising event for the museum and helped with some exhibits while she served on the board.

When Stuart's close friend and well-known local artist Carole McReynolds Davis died, Stuart coordinated an exhibit in her honor, displaying her hats and artwork at the museum. Stuart also organized an exhibit that included dolls from around the world that her daughters owned.

"I did enjoy getting the dolls out and seeing them and remembering them," Stuart said. "I felt like the children would like that exhibit."

Stuart said she was surprised when she was told she won the Ava Moore award.

"I am very appreciative," Stuart said. "I chaired the Denim and Diamonds. The biggest thing we did was the fundraiser, because there always seems to be something that is needed for the museum. I always had a good feeling about raising the money because I knew it was spent wisely."