Businesses from all over Ponoka came together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments at an awards banquet on Oct. 17. The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2008 Annual Business Awards Gala at the Kinsmen Community Centre and was a chance to recognize the efforts of businesses in the community.
Previous to the awards ceremony members of the community were given the chance to nominate their favourite business for an award out of eight categories.
The winners were announced at the gala by emcee Maria Lentz at the business awards gala and each winner was presented with a clock and a bouquet of roses.
The Small Business of the Year was awarded to the Ponoka News and Large Business of the Year went to Hamilton’s IGA. Central Veterinary Clinic was given the Agricultural Business of the Year and Industrial Business of the Year was won by Will’s Welding. Ponoka Funeral Home took the Customer Service Business of the Year award and Ubound Creative Media was honoured with Chamber Member of the Year. Theresa Turner of Direct Travel was awarded Business Woman of the Year and Bruce Blackmore of Bruce’s True Value was named Business Entrepreneur of the Year.
Dinner was catered by Bob and Company Catering and served by East Ponoka 4-H Beef Club.
Marion Raugust, president of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce presented the Chamber Member of the Year Award and commended the work of all the businesses in town.
“We work hard, have fun together and work as a team,” said Raugust. “I thank all members for the work and support that they do.”
Mayor Larry Henkelman presented the Customer Service Business of the Year award and shared his appreciation for the awards ceremony as well as the businesses that strive to benefit the Town of Ponoka.
“It is a very eventful evening for Ponoka,” said Henkelman. “We have had three great awards nights. It’s good to recognize our entrepreneurs and our businesses because they make up our community.”
Throughout the evening a poker hand was given out to all players for a chance to win the grand prize. Gerald Newton had the lucky hand at the end of the night and won a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada courtesy of Direct Travel.
There was also a balloon draw where people could buy a chance to win $500.
The business crowd had the honour of being entertained by the ever-popular Flat Iron Jazz Band throughout the evening giving people a chance to tear up the dance floor.