A Business Scarecrow Award was handed out by the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce

The Business Excellence Awards had some unique categories, including Community Youth Award

Two scarecrows, an old man standing and an old woman sitting. Staff at Lilac Terrace created the town’s winning scarecrows, which were displayed at the mall and voted on by viewers.

Staff at Lilac Terrace created the town’s winning scarecrows, which were displayed at the mall and voted on by viewers. A close-up shot (below) shows the "real" false teeth in the male scarecrow. — Photo courtesy Lilac Terrace

A scarecrow award? Yes, that is one of the awards handed out by the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce at its annual Business Excellence Awards.

And why not? The Business Scarecrow Competition originated in 2017, and many businesses participate. It’s just one way to build community spirit. The scarecrows were staged at the mall, and viewers voted on their favourite one.

A total of nine Excellence Awards were announced at the awards ceremony on October 24, 2019.

And it was the first year that the chamber handed out a Community Youth Award. Is the Sparwood Chamber the only Kootenay chamber that hands out a Community Youth Award? What a fantastic way to recognize outstanding youth and help groom our future leaders.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Community Spirit Award: Karen Sheets

Deserving of the Community Spirit Award, Karen Sheets is an active volunteer in Sparwood. Her efforts are with youth to seniors, from Meals on Wheels to Light Up a Child’s Life.

She also volunteers to do the warmup for fundraiser events like the Parkinson's walk and the Terry Fox Run. She especially likes instilling volunteering in youth.

In her “day jobs,” Sheets operates Divine Anatomy, teaching yoga and fitness. She also runs a greenhouse with her husband.

Retail Business Award: Western Financial

Western Financial’s Sparwood branch office won the Retail Business Award. Manager Traci Allen heads the team of licensed experts.

The insurance brokerage offers car and truck insurance, home insurance, business insurance, farm insurance or life insurance.

Staff are standing outside their workplace, with Shaw's in big blue letters on the building. Shaw’s Enterprises won the Industrial Business Award.

Shaw’s Enterprises won the Industrial Business Award. — Photo courtesy Shaw’s Enterprises

Industrial Business Award: Shaw’s Enterprises

The Industrial Business Award went to the Sparwood branch of Shaw’s Enterprises, which has been supplying quality industrial products since the 1950s.

Their product lines include wire rope, rigging, ground engaging, tire chains, synthetic slings, drill lines, shovel ropes and much more.

Not for Profit Award: Sparwood Trails Alliance

Being a mountain town, the Sparwood Trails Alliance would be a big asset to a community of avid outdoor adventurers. The organization won the Not for Profit Award.

The Trails Alliance is dedicated to developing and maintaining a first-class, sustainable trail system in and around the District of Sparwood.

An upcoming event is the First Offical Elk Valley FatAss on May 30, a timed race at the Sparwood Golf Club.

Outstanding Customer Service Award: Western Financial

Tammy Odgen (L), chamber executive vice-president, hands the New Business Award to Jenise Casely and Chris Gerlach, new owners of Rocky Mountain Meats.

Tammy Odgen (L), chamber executive vice-president, gives the New Business Award to Jenise Casely and Chris Gerlach, new owners of Rocky Mountain Meats. — Photo courtesy Sparwood Chamber of Commerce

New Business Award: Rocky Mountain Meats

Rocky Mountain Meats won the New Business Award. The meat shop and deli aren’t exactly new—but it’s got new owners.

Jenise Caseley and Chris Gerlach moved from Alberta in 2018 to take over Rocky Mountain Meats on April 1, 2019. Former owners Patricia and Richard Boivin trained the new couple in the butcher shop, which has served the community for over three decades.

Gerlach has 15 years of butchering experience. His specialties include a great burger and salami. Rocky Mountain Meats also makes its own jerky, sausage, pepperoni and more. And the shop will continue to serve hunters with custom cutting and wrapping.

Community Youth Award: Steven MacCormack

Steven MacCormack was well deserving of the Community Youth Award. The 13-year-old helps with the Sparwood Mountain Bike Club and the Sparwood Trails Alliance.

He shares his talents by teaching others in group rides and ensuring all riders feel welcome.

Citizen of the Year Award: Jaslene Atwal

Jaslene Atwal, vice-principal of the Sparwood Secondary School was given the Citizen of the Year Award. Atwal graduated from this school herself but moved away for a time. She and her husband returned so that their two children would also grow up in the same town she did.

Atwal’s leadership is appreciated by students, staff and parents. Her priority is making the school safe, both physically and emotionally, for all students. She believes in listening to student concerns and showing kindness and respect.

This close-up shows the

This close-up shows the "real" false teeth in the old man scarecrow made by staff at Lilac Terrace. — Photo courtesy Lilac Terrace

Business Scarecrow Award: Lilac Terrace

The Business Scarecrow Award was given to Lilac Terrace, who used real false teeth in their scarecrow. (Is “real false teeth” an oxymoron?) In this second annual Business Scarecrow Competition, 291 votes were cast to pick the winning scarecrow.

Lilac Terrace is a supported living complex for seniors in Sparwood. The building is owned and  operated by Elk Valley Seniors Housing Society, a registered charity and non-profit housing provider.

“We take pride in providing a loving, safe environment for seniors where they can continue to be independent,” states their website.

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and editor with KPI Media. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for over 15 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and an editor of books and scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to KootenayBiz. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

Related articles

East Kootenay, Sparwood, Real Estate Making people feel at home in the Elk Valley

Jennifer King is a Sparwood real estate agent with her clients’ best interests at heart

East Kootenay, Canal Flats, Cranbrook, Golden, Creston, Fernie, Invermere, Kimberley, Sparwood, Entertainment and Hospitality, Environment, Tourism Festivals in the East Kootenay bring fun, friendship and smiles

Uniting in a shared experience like a festival helps to forge community connections, fun and new friendships

View all Sparwood articles