The Albatross Restaurant at Granite Ridge Golf Club was impeccably laid out in preparation for the annual Community Awards Gala on Friday, April 13. The Community Awards began as a Citizen of the Year award created by the Milton Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion from 1961- 1963. The Milton Chamber of Commerce revived the award in 1973 and has added additional honours from 1981 onwards.

During cocktail hour at this year’s event, nominees met with the press and stood proudly for photographs on the stage. The Lifetime Achievement (Anne Eadie), Citizens of the Year (Liz and Peter Lambrick), and Joyce Hagevik Volunteer of the Year (David Coulter) recipients were already chosen, but the Business and Entrepreneur award nominees would not find out until later in the evening who would receive each honour.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Scott McCammon notes that the aforementioned winners are community members who “have taken time out of their work to serve the community and make a difference in Milton.” Those up for an award are nominated by the general public, and various panels from the Chamber narrow down the options. Award nominees do not have to be a member of the Milton Chamber of Commerce. On the evening itself, McCammon says, “Everyone likes coming to Granite Ridge. This is a night of celebration when everyone can come out and salute the success of the winners.”

David Coulter, winner of the Joyce Hagevik Volunteer of the Year, has arrived with his wife Kristen and sons Thomas and Connor. Coulter is a talented architect and uses his skills in design and construction to craft the Milton Haunted House during Halloween in the Milton Mall to raise funds for the Milton District Hospital Foundation. Invited to assist with the project by a local Milton Council member, David has helped to grow the project into a 1550 square foot space. Guests wait more than half an hour in line each year to experience the thrill of it.

Nominee John Palumbo is the owner of Milton’s Symposium Café (in addition to locations in Georgetown and Waterdown). At the Community Awards Gala, he found himself “feeling humbled in a room full of amazing business people. To be recognized is a big achievement.” In addition to running successful restaurants, Palumbo is known for his work with Breakfast Clubs and Breast Cancer research support.

The evening was co-hosted by Famiizuu’s Sam Kassam-Macfie and Cogeco’s Glenda Lloyd. Kassam-Macfie is a member of the Chamber’s After Hours Committee as well as the Community Awards Gala Committee. Her first time as a host, Sam was “super excited and a tad bit nervous. It’s a big event with all of the powerhouses of Milton!”

The final winners were announced during the evening’s dinner program. Heba Ahmed Malki of domilya GROUP was the winner of the 2018 Business Person of the Year Award, Jackie Clark of FirePower Kids received the award for Entrepreneur of the year, and Pendleton Translations Limited, Cannonball Pools and Gordon Food Service were awarded Small, Medium and Large Business of the Year.
Photos by: Sarah Arfan

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