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Chamber honours local businesses at Harvest Moon Gala & Awards

October 30, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek


Woodington Lake Golf Course in Tottenham was transformed into a moonlit ballroom during last week’s Harvest Moon Gala & Awards, hosted by the Tottenham, Beeton & District Chamber of Commerce (TBDCC).

During this first annual event, 12 awards were handed out to deserving local business owners and local entrepreneurs, then guests were invited to stay and dance the night away to Danny’s 11, a brass band featuring a smoky female singer with jazz stylings.

Emceeing the event was Wendy Gabrek, immediate past president of the TBDCC.

The event was sponsored by:

  • Gold: LT Realties Inc.
  • Silver: Trillium Ford Lincoln Ltd., Vince’s Market Tottenham
  • Bronze: Simcoe.com, Coldwell Banker Ronan Realty

The awards ceremony was the first public introduction to the new board of directors, elected earlier this month. They are: Jennifer Gilbert, president; Jerry Switzer, secretary; Daniela Fuliere, treasurer; Ian Witherspoon, director; Pat Jordan, director; Dayne Polny, director; Mary Bachlow, director; Carrie Kortis, director; Martin Ranby, director; and Town of New Tecumseth liaisons, Ward 6 Councillor Richard Norcross, and Ward 8 Councillor Chris Ross.

The event was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Mayor Rick Milne, and Councillors Norcross, Ross, and Ward 7 Councillor Shira Harrison McIntyre, as well as representatives from the Beeton Tottenham BIA, Bo Niederhuber and Susan Iacoucci, and from the Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation, Elyse Martin.

Awards were split into two categories – People’s Choice, as voted on through a third-party online system, and Chamber Awards, with winners determined by a panel of judges comprised of current board members of the TBDCC. Nominations were open for almost a month, with 20 businesses receiving nominations, and more than 1,000 votes coming in from the public, during the two-week voting period.

And the winners of the People’s Choice Awards are:

  • Best Professional Service – Divine Balance
  • Best Food Service – A Taste of Freedom
  • Best Home Service – Comprehensive Home Inspections
  • Best Retail Store – Tottenham Health Foods

In the Chamber Award category, six awards were given out, they are:

  • Agricultural Award – (This award honours an agricultural enterprise where the principles of running a successful farm or related operation are applied and have resulted in a flourishing thriving business) – Tottenham Feed Service
  • Environmental Awareness Award – (This award honours an established business that has initiated significant green transition practices. The key focus is on continuous improvement, energy savings and cost savings sustainability) – LogOne Environmental Services.
  • Hospitality & Tourism Award – (This award recognizes an accommodation, attraction or restaurant that has demonstrated commitment to excellence in hospitality, customer service, quality and consistency of product and service as well as over all guest experience) – A Taste of Freedom Country Inn.
  • Ruth Mabee Award – “This is the first time we have given out this award in honour of Ruth Mabee. Ruth had been an integral part of the Chamber for many years and blazed a trail for future women in leadership roles in our community,” said TBDCC president Gilbert. “Ruth was elected as a director for the Tottenham, Beeton & District Chamber of Commerce in 1980 and then President in 1985. She started the Trade Fair, which ran for 24 years, now has returned. In 1986, as president, she spearheaded the implementation of creating a steam train tourist attraction for the area, now known as the South Simcoe Railway. The SSR now draws approximately 40,000 tourists to Tottenham, annually.

“In 1990, she received her Private Pilot’s License 64 years of age. In 1991, she received Citizen of Year award. In 1993, she became Director with Alliston & District Big Sisters. And in 1995, Ruth was asked by Marion Boyd (Attorney General of Ontario) to join Advisory Panel of Women in Business and Industry.

“Although Ruth could not be here tonight, her daughter-in-law, Helen Mabee, will be helping us present this award.”

This award honours a not-for-profit organization that has a proven track record of being a community partner within Beeton and Tottenham. The organization will have been operating for a minimum five years, and demonstrates a commitment to its volunteers and partners, corporate citizenship and/or community leadership – South Simcoe Railway

Accepting the award on behalf of the SSR was Eric “Smitty” Smith.

  • Business Excellence Award, Beeton – This award honours an established business that has contributed significantly to the economic development of Beeton through its growth and community involvement.  Criteria includes long-term success, continues improvement and customer satisfaction – The Jordan Team.
  • Business Excellence Award, Tottenham –  This award honours an established business that has contributed significantly to the economic development of Tottenham through its growth and community involvement.  Criteria includes long-term success, continues improvement and customer satisfaction – Parsons ADL.

“Congratulations to all our nominees and award recipients,” said Gilbert. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank everyone who attended our Gala. We have heard so many positive comments throughout the evening.  I would also like to thank our Gala Committee for organizing this amazing event. We look forward to hosting this event again next year.”


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