The Bickham-Hale Service Award will be given for the first time during this year’s FOI Oklahoma annual awards banquet the evening of Oct. 2.

FOI Oklahoma is seeking nominations for its five annual awards. The deadline for nominations will be Aug. 16.

The Bickham-Hale Award is named after FOI Oklahoma founder Sue Hale and first executive director Kay Bickham. According to foioklahoma.org, it will be “awarded to the volunteer or board members who provides outstanding service to FOI Oklahoma.”

The banquet will be at the University of Central Oklahoma. The keynote speaker will be Mike Walter, a five-time Emmy award winning broadcast journalist who is the anchor on the nightly CGTN-America News hour in Washington and the host of its flagship weekly talk show, “The Heat.” He will speak on “Information in a Global Network.”

 Besides the Bickham-Hale Award, the other awards given on Oct. 2 will be:

• Marion Opala First Amendment Award: Named for the late state Supreme Court Justice Marian Opala, this award recognizes individuals who have promoted education about or protection of the individual rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The 2018 honoree was Kay Boies, former executive director, Oklahoma Library Association.

• Director Ben Blackstock, this award recognizes a non-governmental person or organization that has shown a commitment to freedom of information. The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters was the 2018 honoree.

• Sunshine Award: This award recognizes a public official or governmental body that has shown a commitment to freedom of information. Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Doug Wilson was last year’s honoree.

• The final “award” will be given to “an individual, agency or organization that has most thwarted the free flow of information.” Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor was the recipient of the 2018 Black Hole Award.

Nominations can be submitted by filling out the online form at www.foioklahoma.org/nominate. The award winners will be announced before the banquet.

For more information about the awards or a sponsorship at the banquet, contact Lea Morgan, chair, FOI Oklahoma’s Events, Awards and Fundraising Committee, at lea.morgan.671@gmail.com.