MORRISBURG – The fourth annual South Dundas Awards of Excellence celebrated eight businesses, community organizations and individuals for their contributions to South Dundas at a special ceremony September 26.
The award winners were chosen by the South Dundas Economic Development Committee, which is a committee of council.
Brinston business owner Curtis Whitteker was awarded the Young Professional Award, which recognizes a business person under the age of 40 for their work in developing their business.
Jaymie Thurler and Robert Henderson, owners of Rutabaga Ranch, were winners of this year’s Green Award.
“I’d like to thank our amazing community for proving me wrong that we can sell stuff around home and not just at the big city,” Thurler said in accepting the award.
Karra’s Burgers and Fries were presented with the New Business Award. The business opened in March 2022 in Morrisburg but is currently closed due to a fire in August.
“I’d like to thank the community for this,” said Lou Karamitsos. “We came in here, and [the community] made everyone comfortable and welcome for our business and it made a big impact for us.”
Georges Da Costa added that Karra’s will be reopening soon.
The Agricultural Leadership Award was presented to Calvin and Cathy Dentz and their business, Dentz Orchard and Berry Farm.
Calvin Dentz spoke of the 65 year history of the operation. “Although we have a proud legacy we haven’t been resting on our laurels,” he said explaining that they have doubled their typical growing season using innovative techniques and seed varieties.
“Leadership in farming for us is growing great tasting, quality food, sustainably.”
The Tourism Award recognized Sherry’s in Williamsburg for providing a unique tourism experience in the community.
“It’s been a real journey,” said owner Sherry Mowat. “Any great business needs a team and I have been truly blessed to have a great team – this award goes to them.”
She continued that the past seven years has been exciting. “We do look forward to the next seven.”
The Business of the Year Award is given each year to a business that serves and inspires the business community. This year’s award was presented to Laura’s Valu-Mart.
Store owner Laura Callery said she was surprised and humbled to be chosen for the award this year.
“I’d like to thank my amazing staff who showed great strength and commitment through the pandemic and continue to do their best every day,” she said in accepting the award. She also thanked the customers, community and Loblaws for the opportunity to be in Morrisburg.
There were two winners for the Community Builder Award this year – a tie.
The Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club was one of the two award winners, selected for the extensive volunteer work the organization has done in the community.
“This is really a great honour for our club,” said Evonne Delegarde, IMLC president. “We have really been working hard.”
Delegarde highlighted the 41-member service organization and their work within the five pillars of Lions International.
“We work tremendously throughout the community and we really appreciate the nomination.”
Iroquois-resident Candace Latulippe was the second recipient of the Community Builder Award for her work with the Iroquois Plaza Business Group, and in the Iroquois community. Latulippe was unavailable to accept her award in person Monday night.
“I would like to congratulate each of the award recipients and all the businesses who were nominated,” South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds said. “We’ve got a great local business community and these awards are one of the ways that we can show our appreciation for all the work they do in South Dundas.”
This article was originally written for The Morrisburg Leader.