The ceremony, held annually by the Cedartown Performing Arts Center and the Civic Arts Commission will honor individuals whose contributions have made an indelible mark in the arts, culture and philanthropy of Northwest Georgia.
This year, the honor will be shared by two individuals, Howard Doc Ayers and Ray Merrell Beck.
Ayers was born in Toccoa and served as coach at Lavonia High School from 1948-1950 registering a 25-4-1 record.
He later led Cedartown High School to the 1963 State AAA Championship and the 1956 North Georgia championship with a record of 91-43-5 over the period from 1951- 1963.
He joined University of Georgia Coach Vince Dooley as his first assistant in 1964. He stayed at UGA until 1980.
Ayers serves on numerous boards and is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 1990.
Gov. Sonny Perdue has reappointed Ayers to remain on the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority. The Authority has 18 members and both Ayers and Beck serve on that board.
In civic life, Ayers is a member of the Scottish Rite, the G-Club, the American Legion, the Polk County Community Foundation Board, the Retired Teachers Association and the Georgia Real Estate Association.
In his spare time, he works with Dempsey Auction Company of Rome. He is co-host of the annual Ayers-Beck Celebrity Golf Tournament held in Cedartown every year.
Beck was born in Cedartown and attended Cedartown High School from 1944-1948.
During that period he garnered the reputation as one of Cedartowns all time football greats while maintaining a 93.2 scholastic average.
His college years at Georgia Tech proved impressive and as a senior, he was chosen as All-American (AP, NEA, FWAA, Colliers), First-team All SEC (AP & UPI), and Most Valuable SEC Lineman (Birmingham Touchdown Club).
He also played in the Senior Bowl and College All-Star game and was selected as a guard on the Bobby Dodd Era Team (1945- 1966). He is a member of the All-Time Georgia Tech Team and Georgia Tech Hall of Fame.
Beck was the second draft choice by the New York Giants in 1952, 1955-1957. He was a member of the N. Y. Giants World Championship team which defeated the Chicago Bears 56-7.
In addition Beck is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the National Football Hall of Fame and the National College Football Hall of Fame.
He is past president of the Cedartown Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the Cedartown Development Authority; Young Man of the Year in 1959 by the Jaycees; Member of the Polk General Hospital board for 30 years and twice its Chairman; member of the Advisory Board of Polk Medical Center; former board member of Georgia Motor Trucking Association for over 20 years; former board member of the Shepard Spinal Clinic; former board member of the Georgia Games Commission and former board member of Georgia Tech Alumni Association.
For 25 years, Beck was a member of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Polk County and now Chairman Emeritus of First National Bank.
Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Weaver, Mr. and Mrs. Miles Gammage, Attorney-at-Law George Mundy, and the First National Bank of Cedartown are partnering sponsors for the event.
Tickets to the event are limited and may be purchased by calling 770-748-4168.