COLUMBIA — Al and Marjo Price were awarded the 2011 Outstanding Citizen Award presented by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday at the University Club.
Lynda Baumgartner, the winner of the award in 2009, and Dave Griggs, president of Dave Griggs' Flooring America, presented the award.
"We were both very surprised and very flattered to be given the award," Marjo Price said. "We didn't expect it at all."
Al Price began his career as a bank teller and advanced until he became president of Boone County National Bank. Price said his association with the bank helped him get involved in various organizations in Columbia.
The Prices were nominated by a group of their peers and selected by a Chamber of Commerce committee. The award recognizes someone who has made a significant contribution to the community, according to the application provided by the Chamber.
Shannon Walls, vice president of philanthropy at Stephens College and one of the Prices' nominators, said she thinks that description fits the Prices well.
Walls said the Prices have been supportive of many Stephens College campaigns, including the Home Again campaign, an initiative to renovate and restore the college president's house on campus.
"They believe in our historic campus," Walls said. "They've been very supportive of making that happen over the years."
The Prices have also made large donations to the Stephens Costume Museum & Research Library, which allows students to study vintage garment construction and trends in fashion.
The Prices' support of education has also been displayed in their contributions to Columbia Independent School. The Prices were founding trustees of the private college preparatory school.
"We are great believers in education for young people, so when the opportunity arose we wanted to be a part of that," Marjo Price said.
Marjo Price, a board member of the school, said both she and Al wanted to create alternative options for education in Columbia.
The Prices also donated items such as furs, clothing, dishes, furniture, art and other historical items to the State Historical Society of Missouri, where Al Price previously served as treasurer and currently serves as vice president.
They have also made donations and contributed their time to a variety of other organizations, including the Boone County Historical Society, the Rotary Club of Columbia, Calvary Episcopal Church and Central Missouri Development Council.
Marjo Price said she didn't see anything unusual about the amount of involvement she and her husband have in the community.
"Al and I both grew up with parents who were involved," Marjo Price said. "It just seemed normal to carry on the tradition."
The tradition of philanthropy and membership in many organizations is something that has touched almost everyone in the community, Walls said.
Al Price said the future of Columbia residents was his motivation to get involved.
"We've been fortunate living in Columbia and having success in our business," Al Price said. "We want to give something back."