Help celebrate bright lights in community
|By Lisa Harrison - Contributing Writer | February 8, 2018
Nominations are still open for the 12th annual Business and Community Achievement Awards, but the Feb. 15 deadline is looming, so you’re encouraged to participate soon.
Organized by the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce, the awards honour local businesses in 11 categories, including Customer First, Entrepreneur of the Year and Highlander of the Year.
“The awards were created to celebrate the people in our community that are making great strides toward success and benefitting the overall well-being of the Haliburton Highlands,” said Autumn Wilson, chamber manager, via email.
Winners will receive their awards at the gala hosted by the chamber on Mar. 17 at Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre. The gala sells out quickly, according to Richard Wannan, chamber president. “The awards gala has grown to become one of the most sought-after tickets in the community,” said Wannan in a Jan. 19 interview. “It represents some of the best of the best of the year … it’s like our Oscars.”
“When you look at what businesses are going through now, in these more challenging economic times, this just is an element of reward for what they’re doing,” added Wannan. “It’s such a positive event. It doesn’t focus on the challenges of day to day, it focuses on ‘look what you’ve accomplished’.”
“Seeing the winner’s reaction is my favourite part of the awards,” said Wilson. “People are always shocked and thrilled to be the recipient of an award. Everyone who is nominated works incredibly hard at what they do, whether it’s their business or volunteer work, and they believe so strongly in what they do.”
Anyone in the community can submit a nomination, said Wilson. “It encourages people to share their positive stories about businesses, organizations, and people in the community that might not otherwise have been shared.”
Nominations close Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. without exception. Nominees don’t have to be chamber members. You can nominate a business in multiple categories, but you must use a separate form for each one. Nomination forms include guidance in filling out the short form, plus awards criteria and information about the nomination and judging processes.
“Don’t wait to nominate,” said Wilson. “I get calls every year from so many people who missed the deadline because they forgot, so get them in as soon as you can… don’t think you need to write some grand story.” Nomination forms are available for downloading from haliburtonchamber.com. Hard copies are available at the chamber office at 195 Highland St., lower level, and at local library branches. For more information contact the chamber at 705-457-4700.
LISA HARRISON is a contributing writer for The Highlander.