A beautiful downtown takes a lot of work from a lot of people. Every year, the Downtown Bozeman Partnership recognizes community members and businesses that make a difference. Here are the 2012 award winners:

(The Downtown Bozeman Partnership presented three awards at the 7th Annual Downtown Breakfast held Thursday, May 17, 2012 with approximately 75 people in attendance at the Baxter Hotel.)

The awards included the Downtown Cornerstone Award, the Downtown Community Award and the “Life is Downtown” Award.  The nominees and recipient for each award were selected by the Downtown Bozeman Association board, Business Improvement District board and Tax Increment Finance board.

The Downtown Cornerstone Award recognizes a business that serves as an anchor to the downtown community not only economically, but socially, culturally and civically.  The business has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to downtown by sponsoring downtown events, supporting the member organizations of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership, while being an exemplary business leader.

Previous recipients include: Insty-Prints (2011), Heeb’s Grocery (2010), Owenhouse Ace Hardware (2009) and First Security Bank (2008). The 2012 Downtown Cornerstone nominees were the Leaf & Bean, Mackenzie River Pizza, Nova Cafe and Schnee’s Boots and Shoes. The 2012 recipient of the Downtown Cornerstone Award is the Leaf & Bean. Kate Wiggins accepted the award as the owner of the Leaf & Bean.

Babs Noelle, DBA President, presented the award saying, “The Leaf and Bean has been a Downtown Bozeman business since 1977, Kate Wiggins purchased the business in 2006.  The Leaf & Bean has always been a huge supporter of downtown and Kate has continued that tradition. The Leaf & Bean is involved in nearly all DBA events and programs while also supporting numerous other non-profits in the valley.”

The Downtown Community Award acknowledges a business or organization that has provided exemplary support of downtown Bozeman.  This entity recognizes that the city of Bozeman and the entire Gallatin Valley benefits from a thriving downtown, and therefore, they have assisted the Downtown Bozeman Partnership in its efforts to promote and enhance the community’s historic core.

Previous recipients include: Bozeman Food Co-op (2011), City of Bozeman (2010), Montana State University (2009) and Kenyon Noble (2008). The 2012 Downtown Community nominees were the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bridger Bowl First Interstate Bank and Town Square Media. The 2012 recipient of the Downtown Community Award is the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Stephanie Pressly accepted the award on behalf of Chronicle.

Chris Naumann, the Downtown Partnership’s executive director, presented the award and said, “The Bozeman Daily Chronicle has been covering downtown news since 1883. Over the past two decades, the Chronicle has partnered with the DBA to promote downtown businesses and our special events. Most recently, the Downtown Partnership has collaborated with the Chronicle to produce the “Life is Downtown” monthly paper of which 19,000 are distributed throughout the Gallatin Valley every month.”

The “Life is Downtown” Award honors a person who has given a veritable lifetime of service to downtown Bozeman.  The recipient has exceeded the expectations of the community in their generous support downtown.  This person has devoted considerable time and effort to the betterment of the downtown community by volunteering for special events, serving as a downtown board member, and playing a leadership role in downtown initiatives.

Previous recipients include: Bert Hopeman (2011), Chris Pope (2010), Steve Schnee (2009) and Bob Paynich (2008). The 2012 “Life is Downtown” nominees were Bobby Bear, Larry Bowman, Bob Braaksma and Babs Noelle. The 2012 recipient of the “Life is Downtown” Award is Larry Bowman.

“Larry Bowman has dedicated more time to downtown than perhaps anyone else in Bozeman,” said Bert Hopeman. He continued, “Larry has been a downtown property and business owner for over 35 years. He served on the DBA board in the 1980’s as well as two separate terms on the Bozeman Parking Commission.” Hopeman stressed, “Larry was the driving force on the Downtown Urban Renewal Study Committee in 1994 which established the road map for making downtown the thriving commercial, social and culture center that it is today.”