Lawler's of Athens Employee Honored For Going "Above and Beyond"
Tucked on the east side of Interstate 65 Exit 351 in Athens is Lawlers' Barbeque. They serve the traditional barbecue fare - pulled pork, pulled ham, ribs, half-chicken - but that wasn't the reason behind a recent award by Visit North Alabama.
The woman behind the register, Mrs. Clara Kirby, has been serving up warm welcomes, a gentle smiles, helpings of care and concern, and dollops of tourism information to visitors stopping in for a bite to eat. She is the epitome of Southern Hospitality and amazingly remembers regulars and seasonal visitors.
Mrs. Kirby was recently nominated by Cayce Lee of the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association for the Visit North Alabama Northern Star Award. Cayce had witnessed Mrs. Clara Kirby in action behind the counter, pausing to inquire about recent illnesses, loss or life changes of patrons or the their family as they ordered or waited to pick up their meals; answering questions about how much further or giving directions; or taking time to pull off a map featuring local Athens-Limestone information or a map featuring the 16 county members of Visit North Alabama.
The Northern Star Award criteria is outlined as:
History tell us that tourism really began by the navigation of the stars; therefore, those who work as rangers, guides, and front line people and who have gone "above and beyond" expectations are to be nominated for this award.
In the award nomination, Cayce mentioned some experiences from queuing in line to order that seemed to speak to Mrs. Clara's nature to go above and beyond and impact those she meets:
I recently spoke with a family from New York while in line to order and they said they love the barbecue at Lawler's and count their short visit with "Mrs. Clara" as a joyful point in their trip - even going hundreds of miles out of their way - when headed to and from the Gulf of Mexico.
Congratulation to Mrs. Clara Kirby for the 2017 Visit North Alabama Northern Star Award and many thanks for putting a bright and indelible mark on our travel and tourism industry in Athens-Limestone Alabama.
To learn more about Visit North Alabama... VisitNorthAlabama.org
To learn more about Athens-Limestone... VisitAthensAL.com