ELLSWORTH, Maine — Three businesses, a nonprofit organization and a local resident will be recognized Thursday evening for their contribution to the region during the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and social event.
The chamber selected Simone’s restaurant on Franklin Street in Ellsworth as the New Chamber Business of the Year, an award recognizing an organization in business for less than two years that has made a positive impact on jobs, the area and the community.
Downeast Rail Heritage Preservation Trust will receive the chamber’s 2012 Revitalization Award in recognition of the trust’s operation of the Downeast Scenic Railroad out of Ellsworth.
The Director’s Award will be given to Atlantic Brewing Co., the Bar Harbor-based beer brewer. The award recognizes businesses that make significant investments in the growth of the region’s creative economy, set a new standard for innovation or help bring a plan to fruition.
R.H. Foster, the statewide energy company with a facility in Ellsworth, will be recognized with the chamber’s Top Drawer Award. Given out since 1986, the award recognizes businesses that have made “a substantial contribution to the growth, development, and improvement of
Ellsworth, Hancock County, and the State of Maine,” according to the award criteria.
And Ellsworth resident Jeff Wright will be honored as the chamber’s 2012 Citizen of the Year for his volunteer service. Wright, who was nominated by the City of Ellsworth, coaches numerous sports at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School and the YMCA, and serves on the city’s Recreation Commission.
According to the city, Wright directs summertime recreational league activities and was instrumental in the planning, fundraising, construction and subsequent maintenance of Ellsworth’s outdoor ice rink. Wright, who works as director of admissions at Maine Maritime Academy, and his family have helped raise more than $25,000 for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital since 2007.
“Jeff has become known as a person who gives unselfishly of his talents, time and energies to help the youth of this community and has become a valuable asset to the City and its residents,” the city wrote when nominating Wright. “He has a ‘can do’ attitude and serves as a source of inspiration to others. He epitomizes the definition of the qualities of leadership, integrity, humility, dedication, and volunteerism. Jeff Wright serves as a role model for young and old alike.”
The Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce’s event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Ellsworth High School. The social hour runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting and program. Food will be prepared by the Hancock County Technical Center’s Culinary Arts program. Tickets, which are $35, will be available at the door.