Congressman Hal Rogers and Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that the 2021 SOAR Summit, presented by Appalachian Wireless and the Appalachian Regional Commission, will be held in the city of Corbin and the tri-county region of Whitley, Knox, and Laurel counties.
Rogers and Beshear, who serve as the co-principal officers of the non-partisan, non-profit Shaping Our Appalachian Region,Inc. (SOAR), made the announcement in front of a large crowd of leaders from across Eastern Kentucky at 2nd and Main in downtown Corbin.
The Summit, which is the premier event of its kind in Appalachia, will be held on October 13-14, 2021 at the Corbin Arena and The Corbin Center.
Rogers spearheaded the formation of SOAR in 2013 with former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. As the founding principal officer, Rogers has leveraged the SOAR framework and partnerships to connect Eastern Kentucky to unprecedented amounts of funding to support SOAR’s Blueprint for the Future of Appalachia.
“I am confident that we have the ingenuity, the talent and the drive right here in southern and eastern Kentucky to address persistent challenges and revitalize our communities from within. The summit gives us the opportunity to plan our work and work our plan together, under one roof,” said Congressman Rogers. “Governor Beshear and I invite leaders and individuals from every county to get involved with the SOAR movement. There is power in unity and greater hope for our region when we work together.”
Governor Andy Beshear expressed his excitement about being a part of a convening celebrating the collaborative spirit of individuals, organizations, and businesses working to shape a new narrative across Eastern Kentucky.
“We share the same mission as SOAR: We want to help Eastern Kentucky thrive with real opportunity in every community,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our administration believes that is possible through continued investment in economic development, education and health care and, perhaps most importantly, by working together as one team – Team Kentucky – to get the job done.”
Corbin earned the opportunity to host SOAR’s signature event by participating in an extensive request for proposal process.
“SOAR was created to be a catalyst and a convener for the 54-Appalachian Regional Commission counties across Eastern Kentucky. But, most importantly, it was to be an organization of action,” said Colby Hall, Executive Director of SOAR. “We’re excited for Corbin to be hosting the 2021 SOAR Summit. This could be the biggest Summit yet.”
Last year, SOAR held its summit virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s in-person Summit will mark the first time the event has been held outside of Pikeville.
To mark the occasion of Corbin being selected to host the 2021 SOAR Summit, SOAR is offering a one-week flash sale with 50% off registration through Friday, June 11, 2021. The discount is only for those who register for both days of the event. You can register HERE and use the promo code “CORBIN”.
The agenda for the two-day event has not been released yet, but Corbin officials confirmed that the Summit’s reception will be a celebration of downtown Corbin with food, music, and shopping.
“Corbin is incredibly happy to be chosen as the 2021 SOAR Summit host city,” said Corbin Mayor Suzie Razmus. “We are planning for a fabulous event that’s sure to be enjoyable as well as inspirational. Corbin welcomes this opportunity to showcase our community, and we are looking forward to visiting with old friends and new alike.”
On Thursday, the city of Corbin and the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission released a welcome video to launch the 2021 SOAR Summit.
For more information on the SOAR Summit, visit www.soar-ky.org/summit.