Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce office manager Kari Osselton.

Minding our own businesses

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce is planning an awards night

In every small community there are businesses that shine.

The Chamber Awards of Excellence is a chance to put the spotlight on the individuals, organizations, and businesses that are leaders in our community. At $25 a ticket the event features chamber members in a mini trade show, silent auction, celebrity MC and of course the prestigious awards.

“I am looking forward to this. We’ve got a good committee and this event is fresh and new and this year we’ve made a change. Chamber members are the ones who could win an award,” said Kari Osselton, chamber manager.

“This event is a fundraiser. We hope to make some money to help keep the chamber afloat,” she said.

Profits received will help with operational costs, membership fund-raising and district fees. The chamber has one paid employee — the rest are volunteers including five executives and 10 directors.

The awards generally occur in the fall but due to staff changes and a growing chamber, the 2011 awards ceremony did not happen last year. Instead the awards will take place on March 1, 2012.

“I want to see lots of community members there, both chamber and non-chamber, to acknowledge the high calibre of the local Sooke businesses and the hard work they’ve done,” said Osselton. The chamber needs your help in identifying these businesses and community groups in order to congratulate them, she said.

Nominees must be physically located in the Sooke Region (Sooke, East Sooke, Jordan River, Port Renfrew areas) and be members in good standing with the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce.

The Awards Process: Once all nominations have been collected by Wednesday, Feb.15 at 12 noon, they will be evaluated by a judging committee. The committee will consist of anonymously selected members of the Sooke community who will be impartial to the nomination process. Finalists will be notified during the third week of February and their bios will be published on the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce website. Be sure to check to see if your nominee is a finalist. Late submissions will not be accepted.

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce has been honouring businesses since 2002. This is the ninth annual awards banquet and for the first time the event will be hosted at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort and Convention Centre.

“It’s a great facility. We have support with the set-up and the take-down and support from the District of Sooke,” said Osselton.

Children and adults alike are welcome.  Tickets for those underage are as follows: under 10 years of age, children are free, from 11-15 the cost is $15 each and from 16 and up, it’s an adult rate of $25.

Sponsorship costs $300 and includes two tickets to the awards dessert night, mention in the e-news, awards program, email blasts, social media, online on the chamber website and in local newspapers.

As of yet there have not been any set backs, “it’s just a matter of getting our sponsorships confirmed,” she said.

Tickets can be bought over the phone and reserved.

“We’d prefer to have them paid before the event in cash, other wise it can take months for the invoice. We’re hoping for a turn out of about 150 guests.”

Tickets are available at the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.sookeharbourchamber.com/about-the-chamber/annual-chamber-awards-of/award-categories.html.

Please call the chamber office at 250-642-6112 to reserve your award sponsorship.

The next fundraiser for the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce will be a golf tournament in the spring.