It was a night of gratitude when the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce held their annual Qualicum Beach Community Awards Wednesday night — gratitude for the hours of volunteer time, endless instances of extra effort and a deep sense of community commitment demonstrated by this year’s nominees.
In all, master of ceremonies Dave Graham recognized 15 nominees to the appreciative packed house at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, praising each of them for the positive differences they made to the community.
This ability to make a difference was highlighted by feature speaker Ken Schley, who used his own experience as one of the founders of Quality Foods as an example of how much can be accomplished by those who have what it takes to follow their dream.
Taking the award for Outstanding Customer Service was Michelle Brown from Carlson Wagonlit Oceanside Travel, who suggested fellow nominees Emily Dunsmore and Lorna Jorgensen were equally deserving.
The award for Best New Business went to Naked Naturals Whole Foods, who edged out the Courtyard Cafe and the Hot N Cool Yoga Club.
Dolly’s Home Hardware, which recently moved into their brand new facility on Second Avenue, was named Business of the Year, with Faye’s Gifts and the Memorial Compounding Medicine Centre also nominated.
Gary Statham took home the Volunteer of the Year award for his willingness to step into pretty much any volunteer breach faced by community groups. Also nominated were Vivien Sansom and Donna Cortis.
Likely the most coveted title of the evening: Citizen of the Year, was a tough choice between Lynette Kershaw, Judy Southern and Joyce Beaton, with Kershaw accepting the award from Quality Foods’ John Briuolo.
Finally, former mayor and Historical Society sparkplug Art Skipsey was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Skipsey urged the community to consider asking new residents to devote a few of hours per week to volunteering.