National Tourism Foundation

Lakes Area Chamber Of Commerce

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau donated $10,000, a portion of the proceeds from Branson Fest 2005 motorcoach ticket sales, to the National Tourism Foundation?s Yellow Ribbon Scholarship fund.

For every ticket sold by an NTA-affiliated tour operator who brought a motorcoach to Branson Fest 2005, $5 went to the scholarship fund in the company?s name.?

This is a truly outstanding opportunity for theFoundation,? said Ed Hall, a past chair of the National Tourism Foundation. ?The support that Branson has shown to the Foundation and the Yellow Ribbon scholarship is inspiring.??

As a community, we welcome this opportunity to give back to this extremely worthy cause of educating the future leaders of the tour and travel industry,? said Randy Fiveash, former president/CEO, Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. ?Our entertainers, property owners and employees recognize the need to provide essential funding for this important program that serves the tourism industry.?

The Yellow Ribbon Scholarship is given yearly to a physically or sensory challenged college student pursuing a degree in the tourism industry. Currently, the fund is the largest administered by the Foundation, reaching a total of more than $80,000. The funds have assisted six students since its inception in 1995 and will award another annual $3,000 scholarship this fall which includes an all-expense- paid trip to the National Tour Association?s Annual Convention valued at more than $3,000.

The Yellow Ribbon Scholarship was the brainchild of Branson entertainer Tony Orlando and then-NTA President Dottie Maitland, CTP. ?The Branson/Lakes Area community accepted Mr. Orlando?s challenge in 2000 to take the support of the scholarship to the next level. The new direction of this affiliation with the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau and Branson Fest will ensure the future of the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship,? she said.

Branson Fest is a five-day event that showcases the area's performing and visual artists. Activities include indoor concerts, an outdoor entertainment tent, autograph sessions, Taste of Branson food tent, and a Hospitality, Business and Arts Expo. Branson Fest 2005 was an electrifying kick-off to a new season of Branson entertainment.