The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce celebrated with members and guests at its annual dinner meeting, held Oct. 28 in the North Dining Hall of the University of Maine at Farmington, drawing the largest number of attendees ever.

According to Director Shannon Smith, who helped organize the event, 164 tickets were sold to members. That marks the best attendance for the annual meeting and awards dinner, with the closest precedent being 155 several years ago. The attendance figure matches the growth of the chamber itself over the past year. According to President Glenn Kapiloff, the organization has increased membership to 200 members this year, with 16 new members since this time last year.

Also, the chamber kicked off its Gerry Wiles Holiday Food Basket drive at the meeting by selling balloons that represented money raised to buy holiday food baskets for needy local families.

The evening culminated with the presentation of the annual business awards. The top three nominees in each category were recognized for their achievements with a certificate of appreciation, and an overall winner from each category was given a plaque for commitment to excellence and contributions to the community.

Small business of year nominees included the Wiles Remembrance Center, Robin’s Flower Pot and Tumbledown Brewing LLC. Wiles Remembrance Center was given the award.

Medium business of the year nominees included Hammond Lumber Co., Hight Chevrolet and Douin’s Market. Hammond Lumber was given the award.

Large business of the year nominees included LEAP Inc., E.L. Vining & Son and Franklin Printing. E.L. Vining & Son was given the award.

The nonprofit of the year nominees included the Franklin County Animal Shelter, Buttons for Babes and the Western Maine Play Museum. Buttons for Babes program was given the award.

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