Don Wooldridge was presented the 2011 FIRSTS Award at the 97th Annual Chamber Dinner last night. The Kokomo Visitors Bureau FIRSTS Award — which stands for Fantastic Individual Recognized for Superior Tourism Service — was created to acknowledge people in our community who stepped forward to make someone’s visit to Howard County far exceed their expectations.
It hasn’t been awarded every year, only when someone stepped forward to show Superior Tourism Service. This award has been shared by sports people, hotel managers, museum staff, or the person on the street who stepped forward to give advice or directions to someone visiting our town.
Don has been involved with promoting Howard County tourism through his passion of automobiles and community involvement. He is a member of the Pioneer Auto Club and has been a friend to Howard County tourism for many years. He displays exceptional tourism service in his role as expert tour guide for the Kokomo Automotive Museum, giving tours to groups of all sizes while combining his love of cars and our community’s history.
In addition to his service at the Auto Museum, he has been a volunteer step-on guide for the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau since 2007. In this capacity, he has guided and shared his vast knowledge of Kokomo and Howard County with several tour groups from across Indiana.
Most recently, he was heavily involved with helping set up a tour stop along U.S. 31 at the Kokomo Automotive Museum’s parking lot during the 2011 National Hot Rod Power Tour that drove through Kokomo this past June. While Kokomo was not an “official” stop on this cross-country tour, hundreds of cars stopped in Kokomo and many visited the museum while driving on U.S. 31 from Indianapolis to Michigan. It was one of the best days for the Auto Museum’s gift shop sales since the museum opened, and Kokomo was recognized by Hot Rod for our city’s hospitality.
Don is one of many who promote hospitality and outstanding service in Kokomo and Howard County. Congratulations Don! Thank you for your volunteer work in our community and for making visitors feel welcome when visiting our city!