Four local businesses and a community organization were recognized for their contributions to the Saucon Valley area at the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber of Commerce’s semi-annual Honors & Hors d’oeuvres event held in the Dimmick Park pavilion Wednesday.
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Pictured above from left are the individuals whose organizations/businesses were recognized with awards at Wednesday’s Honors & Hors D’oeuvres event sponsored by the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber of Commerce: Saucon Valley Farmers Market board members Maria Schaller, Josh Popichak and Paul Farruggia; Braveheart Highland Pub owner Andy Lee; Brooklyn’s Catering owner and Springtown Inn co-owner Bobbie Gianguzzi; Salon Mia owner Maria Wiseman; and Unrivaled Nutrition + Training owner John Rainis. The semi-annual event was held in Hellertown’s Dimmick Park and recognized “community heroes.” (Photo Credit: Chris Christian)
Four local businesses and a community organization were recognized for their contributions to the Saucon Valley area at the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber of Commerce’s semi-annual Honors & Hors D’oeuvres event held in the Dimmick Park pavilion Wednesday.
The purpose of the event is to recognize “community heroes,” according to the chamber; among them, “those who work tirelessly to improve their business models so that they can make a positive impact on those they serve.”
This year’s award recipients included:
Community Partner Award: Bobbie Gianguzzi, owner of Brooklyn’s Catering and co-owner of Springtown Inn
Small Business Leadership Award: Braveheart Highland Pub
Business to Watch Award: Unrivaled Nutrition + Training
Positive Impact Award: Salon Mia
Champion Nonprofit Award: Saucon Valley Farmers Market
“The Hellertown & Lower Saucon area is a wonderful place to live, work and play, in large measure, because of people and organizations like those…recognized at this year’s Honors & Hors D’oeuvres event,” a news release about it noted. “One hundred percent of the proceeds from the raffle go to our scholarship fund, which supports graduating high school seniors residing in the Hellertown-Lower Saucon area who are moving on to higher education and a future as business and community leaders.”
In addition to the presentation of the awards, there was plenty of time to mingle and enjoy refreshments, which included food from Braveheart Highland Pub, Brooklyn’s Catering, Rita’s and Clusters Handcrafted Popcorn as well as a cash bar featuring libations from Wardog Spirits and Lost Tavern Brewing.
While guests mingled, they had the opportunity to purchase raffle and 50/50 tickets, proceeds from which benefited the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber Scholarship Fund.
This year’s scholarship recipient, Saucon Valley senior Sonia Lloyd, received a $500 scholarship award during the reception
Sponsors for the Honors & Hors D’oeuvres event included Hellertown Auto Wash, Sam’s Club of Allentown, Farmers Insurance Wimbish Agency, ASR Media Productions, Heintzelman Funeral Home, TS Brand Elevation, Good Guy Vapes, Braveheart Highland Pub, Brooklyn’s Catering, Borough of Hellertown, Bux-Mont Awards, Andy’s & Pennewell’s Flower Shop, Mike Robinson Productions, DJ Reilly-Reilly Entertainment Group, Clusters Handcrafted Popcorn and Working Dog Press.
More information about the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber–which is part of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber–may be found online.
*Note: Saucon Source publisher Josh Popichak is a volunteer member of the Saucon Valley Farmers Market board of directors.
Photos by Chris Christian
The 2023 Community Partner Award recipient was Bobbie Gianguzzi, owner of Brooklyn’s Catering and co-owner of the Springtown Inn (with business partner Carol Tweed). Gianguzzi has devoted much of the past 35 years to her work in the restaurant and catering industry; work that began at her family’s restaurant in Phillipsburg, N.J. She learned how to bake from her mother and is well-known locally for her sumptuous desserts.
The 2023 recipient of the chamber’s Small Business Leadership Award was Hellertown’s Braveheart Highland Pub, which has been in operation for more than 16 years. Owned by Andy Lee (pictured), Braveheart is modeled after traditional Scottish watering holes. The business is well-known for its support for community-based charitable efforts and its sponsorship of fundraisers, such as its annual Braveheart Golf Classic at Steel Club.
The recipient of the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber’s 2023 Business to Watch Award was Unrivaled Nutrition + Training in Lower Saucon Township. Owner John Rainis (pictured) opened his facility in February 2022 to provide nutrition and training services to athletes and individuals seeking to improve their health and fitness.
Salon Mia owner Maria Wiseman received the chamber’s 2023 Positive Impact Award. Located on Main Street in Hellertown, Salon Mia first opened its doors in August 2007. Through her business, Wiseman has supported many local nonprofit organizations and organized other charitable efforts, such as regular school supply and coat drives.
Saucon Valley Farmers Market board members Maria Schaller, Josh Popichak and Paul Farruggia (chair) accepted the 2023 Champion Non-Profit Award on behalf of all of the volunteers who help make the market a success. (Board member Becky Keptner was unable to be present.) Founded in 2006, the Saucon Valley Farmers Market recently kicked off its 18th season with nearly 40 vendors represented. From early May through late November, the market is held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. next to the Hellertown Area Library at 409 Constitution Ave., Hellertown. For information about vendors, volunteering and more, visit SVFMPA.com.
A highlight of the Honors & Hors D’oeuvres reception was the presentation of a $500 chamber scholarship to graduating Saucon Valley senior Sonia Lloyd. The event was also an opportunity to fundraise for the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber’s scholarship fund.
Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber board member Tiffany Sondergaard introduced the Saucon Valley Farmers Market board members who were in attendance to accept the Champion Non-profit Award.
Rita’s provided cool refreshments, and there was also a smorgasbord of finger foods from Brooklyn’s Catering and Braveheart Highland Pub to enjoy. Clusters Handcrafted Popcorn provided popcorn party favors to guests.
Chef and business owner Bobbie Gianguzzi, who was at the event to accept the chamber’s Community Partner Award, did double duty by also supplying many of the hors d’oeuvres for Honors & Hors D’oeuvres.
The awards the five recipients were to receive were displayed on a table at the Dimmick Park pavilion, which is where the event has been held since 2021.
Raffles and a 50/50 drawing helped raise money for the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber Scholarship Fund.
Saucon Valley Farmers Market board member Josh Popichak speaks after he and fellow board members Paul Farruggia and Maria Schaller accepted the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber’s 2023 Champion Non-Profit Award at Wednesday’s Honors & Hors D’oeuvres event in Dimmick Park. Popichak said he views their role as caretakers of the market, which has grown significantly since its first season in 2006, when it was held in a bank parking lot on Main Street. He encouraged attendees to visit and support the weekly market, where nearly 40 vendors sell locally-grown produce, meat, cheese, eggs, baked goods, health and beauty products, soap and more.
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