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From buffalo production to philanthropic giving, Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson are well-known for their work in Oldham County.
Their extensive contributions will be recognized at the annual Oldham County Historical Society gala this year.
Brown and Wilson will be awarded the J. Chilton Barnett Champion of Oldham County History Award. First given in 2002, the Champion Award is given to an individual or group who has “demonstrated a sincere interest in Oldham County history and a desire and effort to preserve that history.”
The two saved 1,000 acres from potential development when they purchased Woodland Farm in Goshen, which they then used to start the Kentucky Bison Company in 1996.
“When Woodland became available, we saw it as a way to preserve farmland and return it to a working farm,” Wilson wrote on the Kentucky Bison Company web site.
Twenty-five American buffaloes became Oldham County’s newest residents, and the four-person operation has grown to more than 20 employees and roughly 300 buffalo. The company earned the Agribusiness of the Year award in 2001 from the Agribusiness Industry Network.
Brown and Wilson support many local organizations, and are also the owners of 21c Museum Hotel and Proof on Main.
“They have found success by using their passion and intuition as a guide,” according to a letter from the history center.
They will be presented the award as part of the Oldham County History Center’s fundraising gala, which raises roughly one-third of the center’s annual budget.
Now in its 10th year, the black-tie event includes a reception, sit-down dinner, music and auctions.
Jim Zimmerman, CUB Bank vice president, was named the honorary chairman for the event, recognizing his extensive civic involvement in the county.
“This event is our major fundraiser and its success allows the History Center to continue the programs, camps and exhibits that Oldham Countians have come to expect and enjoy,” wrote Anne Murner, a gala committee member.
The event will take place at 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 23) on the grounds of the Oldham County History Center on Second Street in La Grange.
Tickets are $125 per person. For information, call (502) 222-0826.
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