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Herval Porter Honored With ‘Community Hero’ Award

Herval Porter, who operated Ava’s only taxi service in four decades from the 1960s into the 1990s, was honored with a Community Hero award at Ava City Hall last Thursday afternoon. Ava Mayor David Norman issued a proclamation, declaring June 15, 2017, to be Herval Porter Day, and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and the University of Missouri-Columbia, presented the Community Hero certificate. Porter, whose taxi service was based at the Rexall Drug Store on the northeast corner of the Ava square, not only provided many people of the community with necessary transportation, but he was – and is – a storyteller, with a vast knowledge of the community. It was while the Douglas County Historical and Genealogical Society was collecting information that Ellis Fischel got involved. In a letter to Herval, Cancer Center director Dr. Kevin Staveley-O’Carroll wrote: “I myself am from a small community, and I know how special neighborly bonds can be. To drive patients from Ava to Columbia – especially at a time when our state’s roadways weren’t well equipped for long distance travel – speaks volumes of your compassion and commitment to helping your community. Coordinating medical appointments and travel needs for community members is a very admirable and heartfelt act of service. Going above and beyond is one of the tenets of our approach to care here at Ellis Fischel, and I am proud to say you have exemplified that spirit.” The proclamation given by Mayor David Norman also recognizes the commitment Herval made to the community. “Whereas, Herval spent most of his years driving a taxi service for the citizens of Ava and Douglas County, he has enriched the lives of many by his stories told and his care for the needs of the community.” Marilyn Alms said an upcoming edition of the Historical Society Journal will be dedicated to Herval and his service to the community.