Lacombe Chamber Gala celebrates individuals and businesses in the community

Citizen of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Farm Family of the Year, business awards handed out

The Business and Community Awards Gala filled up the Lacombe Memorial Centre to celebrate businesses and individuals making a difference in the community.

Over 200 people came out to see Lacombe and area citizens receive honours they have earned through their passion for the community.

As previously announced, Jason Lunn of D&M Concrete won citizen of the year; Don and Marianne Gustafson won the Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Kraay family won the Farm Family of the year.

Soapy’s Car Wash was announced as Small Business of the Year; D&M Concrete took home Large Business of the Year and the Echo Lacombe Association won Non-Profit of the Year.

Torie Goings of L.A. Liquor took home the individual Customer Service Award and the Lacombe Auto Service Centre won the group Customer Service Award.

Monica Bartman, executive director of the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce, said the Gala is one of the Chamber’s most important nights.

“The Business and Community Awards Gala essentially is the culmination of celebrating Small Business Week,” she said.

Bartman said the Gala is unique in that it celebrates both individual and business contributions to the community.

“It is definitely the result of a lot of hard work by our committee and it is a group effort to create a wonderful evening where we can celebrate success in the community,” she said.

Bartman said the Chamber tries to provide something for everyone during Small Business Week by providing education, resources and and events.

“We had several educational events this week — everything from social media training, to a business planning workshop, to a lunch event and an after hours networking event. We are trying to put something in for everybody. Hopefully one of those worked for their schedule and hopefully they walked away with new tools,” she said.

After seeing and learning about all the award winners and nominees, Bartman was struck by the communal spirit of the Lacombe business community.

“It is not just from customers coming through the door: It’s from fellow business owners and that is great to see. Collaboration, partnership and the spirit of working together really does lead to more success for the community. I think that really draws people in,” she said.

Going forward, Bartman and her team is focused on their annual general meeting.

“We approve our financials, our next year’s budget and all of those exciting things. We also nominate new directors and we have a full slate this year, so that is really exciting that people are wanting to get involved with our board. We think that is a really great testament to the willingness of local businesses who want to give back,” she said.

Bartman was excited the Gala night finally came.

“It is definitely something that is a long time in a making. The process of getting all the nominations starts in May, so it is fun to get here and sit back to enjoy. It is great to celebrate with all of these businesses,” she said.

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