Paw Paw community roars into 2020 at the Chamber’s Spoonfuls & Spirits

Guests of the Paw Paw Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual Spoonfuls & Spirits dinner enjoyed song stylings of classics from the 1920s era by members of the Paw Paw Village Players, while Chamber member eateries served up samples of their signature specialities.Receiving recognition were, from left:  Keith and Holly Hamilton of H2 Design, Pioneer Award; Steve Racette of VineyardMedia, Legacy Award; Amy Sons of The Strand Theatre, Pioneer Award; Robin Racette Griffin of VineyardMedia, Legacy Award; Nadine Jarvis and Murry, Good Citizen Award; Zack and Sarah Cox of The Garden Griddle, Rising Star Award and People’s Choice for Best Sweet; and Collin Vestrand of GreenGlass Coffee Co., People’s Choice for Best Sip.

    PAW PAW - The Paw Paw Area Chamber of Commerce went “Roaring into 2020” Saturday, March 7 with more than 250 of its closest friends. Chamber members and volunteers hosted the community at the Paw Paw Lions Club for its annual Spoonfuls & Spirits dinner, serving up the specialties of 15 member restaurants, caterers, coffee shops, wineries, and breweries.
    Guests also enjoyed musical interludes by the Paw Paw Village Players, and video booth shenanigans, before settling in for the presentation of the Chamber Board of Directors’ annual community awards.  This year’s honors were delivered to H2 Design, The Strand Theatre, The Garden Griddle, Copper Grille, VineyardMedia, Nadine Jarvis, Paw Paw District Library and Paw Paw Village Police Department.
    Holly Hamilton of H2 Design received a Pioneer Award, presented to a business or individual who has planted roots in the community and continues to invest with a commitment to staying here.  Hamilton and her husband, Keith, adopted a prominent historic storefront and have nurtured it as their home and livelihood. The building on the main four corners of the downtown Central Business District has been lovingly restored to serve as Holly’s H2 boutique on the ground floor, and the family’s residence on the two stories above.  
    Amy and Casey Sons, owners of The Strand, also received a Pioneer Award.  The Sons took up the beloved  but aging vintage movie house and invested in the necessary updates to keep it in operation, and able to offer the most current films to the community, while keeping the popcorn buttered - all at vintage prices.
    Sarah Cox, owner of The Garden Griddle, was given the Rising Star Award, as a newer business making a name for itself by its involvement in the community.  Cox brought her restaurant to Paw Paw when a storefront right downtown became available. She has been an active participant in Chamber and other community events, and an advocate for local focus and downtown as a destination.
    The Chamber’s Commun-ity Partner Award went to Copper Grille, a business who can be counted on consistently to provide sponsorships, volunteers, and/or fulfill other needs for Chamber and community events.  Owners Jeff and Jessica Michael were recognized for being easy, willing partners, for all Chamber activities, offering goods and services, and a great place to meet.
    Nadine Jarvis was named the 2020 Good Citizen, an honor reserved for those whose “good deeds” are done on behalf of their community. Jarvis serves on the Paw Paw Village Council, the village Planning Commission, and was the driving force to bring a summer Farmers Market to downtown. With her service dog Murry, she seems to be everywhere - with a sincere interest in the success of all things Paw Paw.
    The 2020 Legacy Award was presented to Vineyard Media, as a business whose longtime involvement in and contributions to the community have left a lasting footprint.

    As publishers of The Courier-Leader weekly newspaper and Paw Paw Flashes shoppers guide, owners Steve Racette and Robin Racette Griffin have carried on the business their father, Felix Racette, since he purchased the Paw Paw newspaper, The Courier-Northerner, in 1957. There has been a newspaper - sometimes two or three - in Paw Paw since 1843, but the Racettes have owned it for the longest stretch of time.
    In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Carnegie building and Paw Paw District Library, Director Gretchen Evans and Historical Librarian Marty Deming accepted Special Recognition for this landmark event. The public library has grown over the past century from a home for a small collection of books to  a community resource center and gathering place. The Chamber is proud to acknowledge this look back as a necessary part of the library’s vision for the future.
    Special Recognition was also given to the Paw Paw Police Department and its community policing efforts. The Chamber Board wanted to acknowledge that the department’s attention paid to business owners and their properties makes them feel important and cared for.  A safe community is key to bringing in new businesses, families, and visitors.

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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