COVID-19 was unable to stop Rotary Club of Ocean Grove from pushing ahead with its Community Awards.
The awards recognise excellence in local businesses and organisations and include small business of the year, apprentice of the year, pride of workmanship and volunteer of the year.
The awards are normally announced at a dinner at Ocean Grove Bowling Club, but the venue was closed due to COVID-19. So Rotary took the awards to the winners and runners-up.
The Volunteer of the Year was presented to Lola Fisher from Ocean Grove Barwon Heads RSL.
Lola has been involved with Ocean Grove RSL for 12 years and has worked with war veterans and their widows, including veterans from the most recent Afghanistan war.
The runner-up was Pamela Healy from the Parkinson’s self-help group.
Pam has been responsible for initiating the ‘Parkin-song’ which is an hour-long singing session that takes place before the monthly meetings.
The Pride of Workmanship award was given to Kim Kosta from Bellarine Training and Community Hub (formerly Neighbourhood Centre).
Kim is a highly motivated person who claims that her job is the one that everyone is looking for once in their career.
This award is all about customers and employers recognising employees that go above and beyond what is expected and delivering exceptional service.
The Runner-up was Rachelle Calleja from the Telstra shop (now bay IT).
The Small Business Excellence Award was presented to the Beach Terrace Cafe in Ocean Grove.
There were record nominations in this category and the competition was fierce and very, very close.
Runner-up was Von Ruby Headquarters, a well-known hairdressing salon in Ocean Grove.
Both businesses were well supported in nominations with their customers commenting on their high level of service, product quality and sustainable practices.
The Small Business Awards were presented by Ocean Grove Business Association president Ty Symons and Geelong Chamber of Commerce president Mark Edmonds.
The Apprentice of the Year was Kyle Kermeen from Dave Purdie Electrical and runner-up was Otto Opperman from Econ Constructions.
Both Kyle and Otto showed a great aptitude for their respective trades as well as a terrific work ethic and above all, a willingness to learn.
Nominations for the 2021 awards will open in November and all Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Wallington, Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff residents are encouraged to make a nomination.