Named for the former Sand Springs mayor, the John M. Hess Award recognizes outstanding citizenship and has been awarded annually by the Sand Springs City Council since 2003. 

2016: Mary Sue Overbey
2010: M. David "Pete" Riggs
2003: Dale C. Morrow

M. David "Pete" Riggs

The 2010 recipient is a former State Representative and State Senator. Riggs graduated from Sand Springs High School in 1955, attained a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from Phillips University in 1959, a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in 1962, and a law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1968.

Riggs began working as a counselor for delinquent and neglected children with the Tulsa County Juvenile Court in 1960. He was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1970 for District 66 and served until 1986, then served two years in the Oklahoma State Senate. He served as Chairman of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy, and the Sutton Avian Research Center.

After leaving the legislature Riggs began practicing law on a full-time basis as a senior partner at Riggs Abney law firm, which he co-founded in 1972. 

He was inducted into the Sand Springs Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2000.

Dale C. Morrow

b. April 6, 1912. d. April 9, 2007. 

Longtime Sand Springs businessman and former City Mayor Dale Morrow was awarded the inaugural John M. Hess Award in 2003. At one point, he served on City Council with Hess, and the two helped to change the Sand Springs government to a Council-Manager system in 1969.

Morrow was born in Durant, Oklahoma and married Dorothy Ellen Chaffin in 1938. He served in the Army during World War II and attained the rank of first sergeant. The Morrows moved to Sand Springs in 1946. In 1954 he partnered with Claude Gill to open Morrow-Gill Lumber, where he worked until retiring at the age of 90. Morrow Road, where the store was located til it closed in 2015, was named for Morrow in the late 1970s.

Morrow served on City Council from 1963 to 1976 and was mayor from 1969 to 1972. Not only did he help change the form of government, he also helped adopt the first city-wide sales tax.

He presided over the Oklahoma Lumberman's Association from 1967 to 1968, was awarded the Hometown Hero Award in 1991, and served as a deacon and chairman of the building committee at Broadway Baptist Church, where he attended for more than sixty years. He was a Mason and a Rotarian for more than half a century.

Morrow passed away in 2007 at the age of 95. He had five children, six grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years.