Liz Washer received the first Lizzy Award named in her honor Wednesday by the Presser Hall Restoration Society.

The Lizzy Award honors someone exemplifying "Vision" in the arts.

It is named after Washer, founding board member from 1987 of the Presser Hall Restoration Society.

Washer was totally surprised at the award. "It was totally unexpected," she said.

Washer rallied 12 additional members to save Presser Hall from demolition. She served on the board of directors for 30 years before stepping down this year to spend more time with her family.

Her first vision was to save Presser and restore it. "Through fundraising efforts and lots of sweat equity Liz with others dedicated herself to the community of arts," said Lois Brace, executive/artistic director for Presser Performing Arts Center, during the presentation.

Washer is passionate about Presser Performing Arts Center but says she is not alone. "Many other people as well are passionate about it,' she stated.

A musician herself Washer taught many area children through the school system. She was instrumental in hiring Brace in 2007 as executive director to take the organization into the next phase of their vision.

That vision was to create a full arts center for the communities serving on an average 20,000 to 22,000 patrons annually. Brace stated Presser is now the largest multi-disciplinary arts education center in 100 miles serving 22 zip codes in a 30-mile radius.