The competition definitely is healthy for the eighth-annual Chamber of Commerce business awards gala coming up March 29, with the total number of nominations finalized at 80.
“Actually, I wasn’t really surprised to see that many,” Chamber co-ordinator Dawn Booth said Tuesday.
“Last year, we had 72, I think. And we do have a new category this year [the Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year],” she added.
And with so many to choose from, now comes the hard part—selecting the winners, said Booth.
“Thankfully, it’s not just one person who has to do it,” she noted. “I still have to pick the judges out. They’ll meet a couple days before the banquet and make their decisions.”
The winners will be announced at the banquet March 29.
The nominees are:
•Business of the Year (1-15 employees)—Fort Frances Chiropractic Centre; Home Suite Home; Nickel Lake Lumber; Northwoods Gallery & Gifts; NorWest Animal Clinic; Richard’s Rod & Reel Service; Quality Builders; Scrap-A-Bit; and Sight & Sound.
•Business of the Year (16+ employees)—Ed Kaun & Sons; Fawcett Broadcasting/B-93 FM Radio; La Place Rendez-Vous; and Northern Do-It Centre.
•Employee of the Year (private sector)—Neila Booth (Tammi’s Flower Garden); Linda LaRocque (Maurice Fillion, CA); Christine Loveday (Tammi’s Flower Garden); Kristen McFarlane (In Focus Photography); and Lori Shoemaker (Tammi’s Flower Garden).
•Employee of the Year (not-for-profit)—Gwen Beadle (Couchiching First Nation); Suzanne Danku (Canadian Cancer Society); Larry George (Township of Alberton); Jane Johnstone (Ontario Travel Centre); and Christine Jourdain (Couchiching First Nation).
•Training and Adjustment—Couchiching First Nation; Envision North; Investors Group; and Tom Veert Contracting.
•Abitibi-Consolidated Safety Award (business)—George Armstrong Co.; McDonald’s Restaurant; and the Rainy River District Substance Abuse Prevention team.
•Abitibi-Consolidated Safety Award (individual)—Gerry Armstrong (Office of the Fire Marshal); Jeannette Cawston (2002 World Health Organization conference co-ordinator); Cst. Peter LeDrew (CN Police); and Cst. Al MacDonald (Fort Frances OPP).
•Customer Service Award (business)—CIBC; Fort Frances Chiropractic Centre; Fort Frances Public Library; Gagné Pharmacy; Kettle’s Restaurant; Ontario Travel Centre; Revco Carpet Centre; Scrap-A-Bit; Sight & Sound; and West End Motors.
•Customer Service Award (individual)—Doug Cain (B-93); Karen Chowan (CIBC); Mary Fehr (Rainy Lake Hotel); Kathy Cooper (Rainy Lake Hotel); Chris Hayes (MacDonald Motors); Marlyce Huitikka (HRDC); Monica Johnson (Lidkea, Elliott and Lidkea), Shayla Kennedy (Fort Frances Chiropractic Centre); Melvin Meyers (Ernest Thompson Distributors Inc.); Danette Nixon (Scrap-A-Bit); Diane Oliver (HRDC); David Schwartz (Gagné Pharmacy); and Karen Sockolotuk (Stan’s).
•Entrepreneur of the Year—Couchiching First Nation; Meredith Croswell (Scrap-A-Bit); Guy Donaldson and Kelly Spicer (Robin’s Donuts); George Emes (Edward Jones); Eric Fagerdahl (Rainy Lake Boatworks); Richard and Solly Garbowski (Richard’s Rod & Reel); and Michael Tullio (Hair Paint).
•Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year—Telford Advent (Rainy River Future Development Corp.); Alberton Recreation Commission; Joan Allison (Riverside Foundation for Health Care); Glenn Armstrong (various organizations); Susan Bodnarchuk (“Re-Inventing Fort Frances”); Donna Bone and John Bradley (David’s Deli); Canada Safeway staff; Clinic Pharmasave staff; Linda Hamilton (Canadian Cancer Society); Bev Kotnik (various organizations); Bruce Lidkea (Fort Frances Highlanders); Carol Lyons (Showcase of the Performing Arts); Gord McBride (various organizations); John McTaggart (various organizations); Gary Rogozinski (various organizations); and Sam Woods (“Re-Inventing Fort Frances”).
The banquet will be held at the Fort Frances Curling Club, with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7. Tickets are now available at the Chamber office for $45 per person, or a table of eight for $300 (a savings of $60).
Booth noted the evening, which usually runs about three-four hours, will consist mainly of socializing, a silent auction, and the awards ceremony, with maybe a little entertainment to “break things up.”
For more information, call Booth at 274-5773.