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Photo by Laura Lennie

Photo by Laura Lennie

Bill Needham, right, receives the Citizen of the Year award from sponsor representatives Craig Brown, Donald Brown and Julie Brown-Webber, of Donald V. Brown Funeral Home Ltd. at the 2013 awards evening.

Nominations now open for chamber’s Community Awards

By Laura Lennie, News Staff

The Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce is looking for extraordinary citizens to honour at its 47th annual Community Awards on May 22 at Winona Vine Estates.

Nominations are being accepted for 2013 Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year, along with the Outstanding Large Business (over 25 employees) and Outstanding Small Business (under 25 employees and in business for at least five years) achievement awards. The chamber of commerce also selects recipients for its Legacy (long-standing business in the community) award.

“This is our biggest event of the year and anyone in the community is welcome to attend the awards gala. It’s really a night to pay tribute to and show support for people in this community who are making a difference,” chamber vice-president and awards committee chair Lori Raudnask said. “We also have a lot of past Citizen of the Year recipients who attend the gala. It’s really nice when they come to the event because they’re there to support the next person who’s doing a great job.”

Nomination forms are available online at the chamber of commerce Web site www.chamberstoneycreek.com. They also can be picked up at the chamber office at 21 Mountain Ave. S., local banks, service clubs, schools, Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 622 and Stoney Creek News office at 333 Arvin Ave. The deadline for nominations is March 28.

Raudnask said there are many deserving citizens and businesses in the community.

“If you’re inspired by what someone’s doing in the community, why not nominate them? It’s such an honour to be even nominated,” she said. “Citizens and businesses don’t anticipate to be recognized for their service. They do what they do because that’s who they are, so when they get nominated it can be a pleasant surprise.”

The Stoney Chamber of Commerce initiated its first Citizen of the Year Award in 1967.

Since then, the recognition has been expanded to included individuals and businesses in the community for excellence in leadership, community service and outstanding business practices. The chamber of commerce also has handed out a Community Recognition Award the last two years, along with a Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award last year.

The chamber showcased videos of all the winners at the awards gala last year.

“That was a first and I think it went over well. All of the winners were really taken back by their videos,” Raudnask said. “The videos are something that they can have for the rest of their lives. We’re going to attempt to do that again this year.”

Raudnask said the awards have certainly evolved over the years.

“It’s absolutely a testament to the amount of amazing individuals, businesses and groups we continue to see throughout this community. They all give back and contribute in so many ways,” she said. “Some of our (business) award winners have been third and fourth generation. It’s awesome to see that businesses are thriving, that they continue to thrive generation after generation and that is what we can be really proud of about living in this community.”

The 47th annual Community Awards will take place on May 22 at Winona Vine Estates.

For more information on the nomination process or awards gala, call the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce at 905-664-4000.

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