WILLIAMSTOWN, Ont. – South Glengarry celebrated its movers and shakers at the township’s annual Business & Community Awards banquet.
The popular event takes place in the upstairs hall of the Char-Lan Recreation Centre in Williamstown.
These are the winners of the 2016 South Glengarry annual Business & Community Awards:
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – TIM HORTONS (SOUTH LANCASTER)
The Tim Hortons location in South Lancaster, owned by Nelson and Michelle Matos, will be celebrating its 10th year in business this June.
Under the supervision and example of managers Peter Van Der Veen and Tina Duchesne, the 24 employees who work at this location are consistently upbeat and friendly, exhibiting outstanding customer service.
The owners and management take pride in the appearance of the property, maintaining the building and grounds, reflecting their commitment to the betterment of the community. As a frequent stop for travellers along the busy Highway 401, the care towards the beautification of their business goes a long way in promoting our community to residents and visitors alike.
The Matos are described an enthusiastic supporter of community activities, sponsoring soccer equipment for local soccer leagues (supporting approximately 350 local children).
The couple donated almost $2,000 to Habitat for Humanity Seaway Valley in September 2015 through their Smile Cookie campaign. Habitat is completing their first ever build in Glengarry this year.
The matos have also been a strong partner in supporting the annual Legion Poppy Campaign helping in the care of Veterans and their families in time of need.
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR – DONALD & SYLVIE LONGTIN
Donald and Sylvie Longtin purchased Henderson’s Grocery store in Lancaster in 2015.
While this business has been a part of the community for some time, the Longtins have transformed the store into a unique shopping experience since they have taken ownership over the past year.
They offer a personal and warm experience to customers that is often hard to find in large grocery chains. Many of their products are locally grown and produced.
Their son ‘Champ’ has recently completed a meat-cutting course and will join his parents as an apprentice butcher.
The Longtins are considered an example of how small independent businesses can make shopping a pleasant experience and are the type of business leaders that will help South Glengarry move towards the future.
EXCELLENCE IN AGRICULTURE – RON BRENNAN, OLD 4TH HOP YARD
Ron and Stephanie Brennan arrived in South Glengarry in 2009, moving onto a farm in Williamstown after a career in Ottawa as a part-time camera man with the Ottawa Senators and a full time software tester.
Not wanting to commute to Ottawa every day, Ron decided to try something new. In 2010, he took note of Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill and confirmed that they would be interested in buying quality organic hops locally if they were available.
Ron went to work learning what was needed to grow hops and completed 120 hours of formal hop growing education.
In 2011, he planted a quarter acre of low level trellis trial hops and by 2013 he changed to high trellis to improve yield and became certified organic that same year, making his first sale to Beau’s.
Since then, Ron has increased his production, adding acreage every year. He has worked to improve his growing and harvesting methods and has spoken at inter-provincial and international conferences, sharing his knowledge with others.
Ron is active in the community as a steward with St. Andrews United Church, as a main stage audio volunteer at the Williamstown Fair and as a Tim Hortons soccer coach. He and Stephanie have three young children.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD – SUE HARRINGTON
Sue Harrington has worked tirelessly in the community and is most well known as the voice of Williamstown in the Glengarry News, where she reported on the community activities and events.
Sue recently retired after reporting on the community for 30 years.
She has a long association with the Williamstown Fair serving as the president of the Ladies Division in 1980-81 and serving on the board of directors from 2000 to 2002. The Williamstown Fair Board recognized Sue’s long time contributions to the event in October 2015.
YOUTH MERIT AWARD – PHILLIP VEILLEUX
Phillip Veilleux is a Grade 12 student at Le Relais Secondary Catholic School in Alexandria.
His teachers attest that in the classroom he demonstrates perseverance, dedication and a strong work ethic – he has been nominated as student of the year three years in a row.
Outside of the classroom he is passionate about sports and is the captain or assistant captain in soccer, volleyball and hockey.
Veilleux has played with the Char-Lan Jr. B. Rebels for the last two years and is in charge of the Rebels booth at the Williamstown Fair.
He organized a “Youth 4 Action” day at his school to advocate for the Canadian Cancer Society, promoting physical activity as a means of reducing the risk of cancer.
Next year, Veilleux plans to pursue further education at Concordia University where he plans to study Urban Planning.