Annual Awards

The Smith Mountain Lake Association presents, up to four, community awards each year at the Annual Meeting.  The awards recognize individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to the Smith Mountain Lake community over the past year or an extended time period.  Nominations for the Melvin S. Johnston Citizen Volunteer Award and the Spirit of the Lake Award are accepted until August 31 of the current year (nomination forms are linked following the description of the award and past recipients).  The Water Safety Council (WSC) award recipients are determined by members of the WSC.

SMLA Award Descriptions and Prior Years Recipients

The Melvin S. Johnston Citizen Volunteer Award is named in honor of Melvin Johnston, the founder of the Smith Mountain Lake Association (the SMLBA), real estate broker, land developer, and philanthropist. This award is presented to one or more people who have made the greatest contribution to the quality of life at Smith Mountain Lake either during the prior calendar year or over an extended time period. The winner should demonstrate one or more of the following criteria:
Made an impact on SML environmental issues
Made significant improvements to water safety
Exhibited effective management of lake maintenance issues
Implemented projects/ programs within the Smith Mountain Lake Association
Demonstrated leadership
Exercised lake and/or community stewardship

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Submit a Nomination Form for Melvin S. Johnson Citizen Volunteer Award

The SMLA Spirit of the Lake Award recognizes that we are fortunate to be living in these beautiful mountains that surround us and the waters of Smith Mountain Lake.  There are many people, groups, businesses and organizations that cumulatively make up the Spirit of the Lake.  This award may be presented to one or more nominees.  A nominee should routinely demonstrate their Spirit of the Lake in one or more of the following criteria (long-term efforts should enhance the nomination): 

  • Creating a unique and positive lake business environment.
  • Promoting recreational activities for local residents and vacationers.
  • Establishing an atmosphere to support community members in times of need.
  • Providing opportunities to expand community involvement in individual self-development classes.
  • Fostering positive youth development through water-related programs or technical training opportunities.
  • Promoting environmental awareness and related programs.
  • Supporting outreach with neighboring communities for regional cooperative development.
  • Demonstrating exceptional actions as a Steward of the Lake.

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Submit a Nomination Form for SMLA Spirit of the Lake Award

SMLA-WSC Award Descriptions and Recipients

Karl Martin Water Safety Award annually recognizes an individual, business, or organization for their outstanding contributions in advancing safety on the waters of Smith Mountain Lake. 

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The Smith Mountain Lake Water Safety Council Lifesaving Award, recognizes an individual or individuals who because of their actions saved a life on, and/or immediately surrounding Smith Mountain Lake.  The lifesaving act must be verified by Public Safety and/or EMS providers to the extent that if no action had been taken the victim most likely would not have survived.

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