13.5 C
Niagara Falls
Friday, April 19, 2024
Editorial: That’s the Spirit, NOTL
Laurie Harley is named citizen of the year at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce Spirit Awards. DAVE VAN DE LAAR

We have marvelled many times over the years about the effort and selflessness that people in our town exhibit when it comes to helping their community.

The willingness of so many people to go above and beyond, to step up when help is needed and to do so without any thought or expectation of reward, is admirable. And deserving of recognition.

On Tuesday night, thanks to the efforts of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and many others working behind the scenes, there was a very public and tangible expression of thanks and that much-deserved recognition.

The NOTL Spirit Awards singled out several individuals and a few companies from among a long list of nominees for making NOTL, Niagara Region and, indeed, our world a better place.

We’d like to take this opportunity to add our own thanks to all of those honoured — plus those nominated and those who continue to give of themselves for the betterment of the community. You are all deserving of accolades.

And we must say, as Niagara-on-the-Lake’s community newspaper, The Lake Report was proud to be involved in helping to promote the awards and also sponsor one of them.

Here, briefly, are biographies and a few details about those who were singled out. Congratulations to everyone.

On our front page this week, you can read about Laurie Harley, named 2023’s Citizen of the Year for her role in helping to create the NOTL Ambassadors program, a hugely positive legacy of the COVID pandemic.

Huebel Grapes Estates received the Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture Award, presented by St. David’s Cold Storage, in recognition of its innovation and influence on the grape industry over the past four decades.

The energetic and dedicated Andorlie Hillstrom won the Christopher Newton Award for Arts and Culture, presented by the Shaw Festival, for her years of work with youth and for establishing the Yellow Door Theatre Project.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, presented by Niagara Trailers, honoured chef Karrie Galvin and the Niagara Juice Co. She opened her popular business in the midst of the pandemic and has become a go-to destination for many NOTLers.

One of the town’s prized destinations is the NOTL Museum and for her work there and involvement in projects such as Landscape of Nations and the Voices of Freedom Park, museum curator Sarah Kaufman received the Community Leadership Award, presented by The Lake Report.

Rob and Danielle Begin of the Grist restaurant realized a dream and transformed a historic barn in St. Davids into a popular bar and eatery. They were presented with the Celia Liu Award for Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism by Erica Lepp. The award honours her late sister, who operated the Oban Inn.

The Dan Patterson Youth Leadership Award, presented by Niagara College, went to Michaiah Ivri for her extensive community involvement in youth activities, sports, the St. Davids Leos and many other volunteer activities.

Vintage Hotels received the Business of the Year Award, presented by Scotia Wealth Management. The company was cited for being “at the very core of our community since the late 1990s” and lauded for its contributions to the tourism economy.

Shaw Festival executive director Tim Jennings received the Peter Ling Award for Business Leadership, presented by STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake. Jennings was singled out for his creativity, financial acumen and leadership at the Shaw and involvement in many other community organizations.

The Chamber of Commerce Award went to Paul MacIntyre, of Vintage Hotels, in recognition of his involvement not only in the hospitality industry but with a wide range of town organizations, committees and Red Roof Retreat, among others.

Subscribe to our mailing list