Ashland businessman and former mayor Alan DeBoer has won the Southern Oregon Historical Society's 2009 Heritage Award.

Ashland businessman and former mayor Alan DeBoer has won the Southern Oregon Historical Society's 2009 Heritage Award.

In presenting the award June 14, Interim Executive Terrie Martin credited DeBoer with helping to save the organization.

"We're growing in memberships, donors, volunteers and hours that we are open to the public, and we couldn't have done it without him," Martin said.

DeBoer loaned the organization $600,000 and worked with the society's Board of Trustees over the past year to create a financial plan in response to the organization's loss of county funding.

The award is given annually to someone who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the promotion of history and preservation in Southern Oregon, Martin said.

Previous recipients have included Robbie Collins, Kay Atwood, Marjorie O'Harra, George Kramer, Lyn and Reeve Hennion, Bert Webber and the Golddiggers Guild.

— Staff reports