2013 Business of the Year – Grand Bend Motorplex
One of the largest motorsports facilities in Canada, the Motorplex is only one of two venues that offers Drag Racing, Road Racing, Oval Track Racing and Motorcross. It’s also the location of the largest Drag Racing event in Eastern Canada and the second-largest location for the International Hot Rod Association’s MOPAR Nitrojam Nationals – 2nd largest for number of spectators but LARGEST in terms of race entries! With the recent addition of the Road Race track, the Motorplex is now able to host race series and racing clubs, such as the SOAR Motorcycle series, Canadian Automobile Sports Car Club, Ducati Club of Canada, Porsche Canada and other racing and vehicle enthusiast clubs. Many of these types of organizations are from the Toronto/GTA area, and represent NEW out-of-area visitors discovering the Grand Bend Area for the first time. The Motorplex enables charity groups to raise money through various functions held during key events as well as monetary donations to community and athletic organizations and school clubs.
2013 Entrepreneur of the Year – Tina Sandre
Tina Sandre was nominated for her innovative offering, initiative in creating her “dream job”, hard work that’s evident in year over year growth marked by an extensive expansion from a take-out operation into a new location for 2013 that offered eat-in and patio dining options. The new location required a gut and rebuild job that in Tina’s own words required her to risk and commit all of her “time, money, heart and soul.” The nomination also commented on the excellent quality of the sushi served and how city-slickers from large urban centres raved about the sushi quality surprisingly found in Grand Bend. In the four years that Tina has operated Midori Sushi, she’s garnered a core of loyal and return customers who look forward to Friday night Sushi night. Tina also supports other local businesses by sourcing fresh ingredients from farmers markets and local vegetable and meat farmers. In addition to her entrepreneurial efforts, Tina contributes to Grand Bend’s Canada Day Celebrations through fundraising to feeding the musicians and has donated to many silent auctions and raffles in support of local community events and organizations.
2013 David Scatcherd Community Spirit Award – Lynda Hillman Rapley
If you think you’ve seen Lynda everywhere – you have! We all know Lynda covers local events and news as part of her job with the Lakeshore Advance and has done for 31 years, we also know that Lynda gets involved 110% with many events, causes, committees and councils. BUT, did you know she has volunteered for or fundraised for or in some way shape or form helped over 20 different events or committees, including – to name just a few – Grand Bend Public School & the School’s Council, their Christmas Lunch events and the Save The School Campaign, the Grand Bend Air Show, Grand Bend’s Winter Carnival, Grand Bend’s Canada Day, Grand Bend Youth Centre, the Lambton Heritage Museum’s “Christmas Home Show” & “Halloween” events, the Optimist’s Burgerfest, Women’s Interval Home’s “Jingle Bell Walk”, Crime Stoppers, the Derik Whiting Memorial Slow Pitch Tournament, the annual Jesse’s Journey muscular dystrophy awareness campaign, the recent West Coast Lion’s Christmas Carol, Grand Bend Community Foundation, the David Scatcherd Invitational Golf Tournament and Rotary’s Autumn Indulgence. Lynda has also been recognized by her peers – the Ontario Community Newspaper Association – with an award win in 2007 and a nomination in 2012 for the “Mary Knowles-Molson Community Award”, which is presented to the person who best connects their newspaper with their community. Other awards or nominations include a nomination for the Women Who Shine in 2013, recipient of the Community Leader of the Decade in 2011 and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Historical Writer Award in 2008.