Amherst League of Women Voters, Amherst Garden Club among honorees at Amherst Area Chamber dinner

Last modified: Tuesday, August 04, 2015

AMHERST — A community organization that has promoted political responsibility for more than 75 years and another group that has spent a century helping to beautify the town’s landscape are among recipients of this year’s A+ awards from the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber Tuesday announced that the Amherst League of Women Voters, founded in 1939, and the Amherst Garden Club, formed in 1915, will be honored with community service and legacy awards, respectively, at an Oct. 1 awards dinner at the Hadley Farms Meeting House in Hadley.

Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Donald Courtemanche said the chamber is recognizing organizations and individuals that work every day to enhance the local business community.

The dinner program includes recognition for the award winners and scholarship awards to two high school students.

“It’s certainly the most prestigious event the chamber produces and hosts,” Courtemanche said. “It combines leaders of government with business, health care and education leaders, and puts a spotlight on people who have made a difference.”

The two local organizations will join four other award recipients.

Boyden & Perron, the South Whitney Street service and repair shop, has earned a lifetime achievement in business award for its 59 years of serving Amherst.

Hampshire College is receiving a legacy award for stewardship in South Amherst, in particular for creating a cultural district, making a commitment to green building and sustainability, and creating a village center.

John Thibbitts of Atkins Farms Country Market will receive the most valuable player award for his assistance and dedication to the committee that oversees the Taste of Amherst. “You seldom see that level of commitment,” Courtemanche said,

In addition, for the first time the Young Professional organization of the chamber will present an award. Energia Fitness and 50/50 Fitness and Nutrition will be recognized for their recent expansion in Hadley and their dedication to area organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Rotary Club of Amherst and the chamber.

Annual Dinner Committee Chairwoman Tiffany Raines said in a statement that the celebration will reflect the outstanding work of the award winners.

“This year’s dinner will be the culmination of that work and we look forward to gathering the business community together for this event,” Raines said.

Courtemanche said the dinner this year will be catered by Seth Mias Catering.

Reservations for the dinner or for the program book can be made by contacting the chamber offices at 253-0700.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


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