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February 2, 2018

Becca Weathers, Membership & Think Local First Coordinator
Sustainable Connections

Four Whatcom County Businesses Awarded for their Commitment to Sustainable Positive Impact

Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, WA awarded four Whatcom County businesses, and two individuals, Sustainability Champion Awards last Thursday for their deep commitment to making a positive impact locally. [caption id="attachment_60932" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Winners (pictured from left to right) are Dawson Construction, Dandelion Organic Delivery, Superfeet Worldwide, Good to Go Meat Pies, and Tom and Cheryl Thornton. Photo by Julien Scherliss[/caption] The Awards are an annual recognition of Sustainable Connections members who are leaders in the following four categories: Strong Community, Healthy Environment, Meaningful Employment and Buying Local First, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for an individual who has made substantial positive changes within their organization and the greater community. For more details about each award and the winners, visit Sustainable Connections website. The 2018 Sustainability Champion Award winners, and the Lifetime Achievement winners are as follows: Strong Community: Dawson Construction, Inc. Dawson has proven their ability to strengthen the community in many ways. They give generously, champion initiatives that help people and planet, and directly support multiple community organizations. Each year they sponsor multiple community events, and in 2017, they donated a Bobcat to the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition and gave $100,000 toward the installation of a rooftop solar array for the new Sehome High School. Healthy Environment: Dandelion Organic Delivery Owners Maria Stavrakas and Jonny Lane are totally dedicated to sustainability. Fresh produce boxes are seasonally sourced from over 30 local growers, they are completely dedicated to zero waste practices (and produce only a handful of trash from their business each week), and they have installed a 50-panel solar array at their business. During peak sunny season, nearly 100% of their use is supplied by their array. Meaningful Employment: Superfeet Worldwide, Inc. Superfeet is 100% employee owned and provides a thriving and welcoming workspace. They are dedicated to their employees and pay livable wages including a broad benefits package that goes beyond by including two paid days per year to volunteer for their “Be The Awesome” campaign. In 2017, they also undertook a huge lighting retrofit to help improve working conditions for warehouse workers. Buying Local First: Good To Go Meat Pies Owner Holly Bevan-Bumford and her husband Beau have continued to increase local sourcing every year they have been open. They source from a wide variety of local farmers, businesses, and grocers, even during the winter months when buying local can be challenging. Holly also works hard to source meat from local farms that have been humanely raised without any antibiotics and she proudly lets her customers know exactly where her ingredients have come from. Lifetime Achievement Award: Cheryl and Tom Thornton Tom & Cheryl have been working to transform our community for over 40 years. They have been innovators in our food and farming community, board members of multiple keystone organizations, founders of their own nonprofit, and supporters, mentors and guides for new generations of farmers. Max Morange of Bellingham Food Bank said it best, “Tom and Cheryl Thornton…have invested their lives in feeding and educating our community. For four decades, their constant connection to the local food system may only be surpassed by the number of homes, farms, and lives that they have inspired. As producers, mentors, and dreamers, they played a critical role in the early days of sustainable agriculture; at the helm of Cloud Mountain Farm Center, they have bridged gaps in rural and urban Whatcom County alike, sowing the seeds of new ideas with the old guard as well as the new faces of local agriculture.” The Sustainability Champion Awards are made possible in part by generous donations from our Sustainable Business Development Program Gold Sponsors; Sampson Rope, RDS Inc., Silver Sponsors; Healthy Pet, PSE, and Itek Energy, and Bronze Sponsors; Beneficial State Bank, Samuel’s Furniture, Chrysalis Inn & Spa, Heritage Bank, Home 2 Suites  and the Mt. Baker Care Center.

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