ARUNDEL — When life gives you lemons, you celebrate with lemonade — or lemon-spiked cocktails from sponsor Batson River Brewing & Distilling. That is just what more than 230 people did Thursday, Sept. 15, as part of the Kennebunkport-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce’s annual DRIVE to Be the Best Awards night.
“We were thrilled to come together Sept. 15 for the first time in three years to host Drive to Be the Best,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Dolce. “More than 200 members of our business community joined us to celebrate this year’s honorees, all so very deserving.”
DRIVE was a celebration of all that the community has collectively achieved with a can-do spirit through a pandemic, celebrating those businesses that have gone above and beyond, as well as those who have been deemed “the best” by popular vote, organizers said.
Against a backdrop of lemons (and beautiful charcuterie) on a late-summer night at Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel, DRIVE featured live music by the Lisa, Jim, and Byon Band outside, plus live music by the Beau Dalleo Band inside the barn, as well as multimedia presentations coordinated by Blake Baldwin and Video Creations.
As part of the festive night, the Chamber awarded its annual honors to the following members of the community:
Municipal Employee of the Year, Wendy Lank, Town of Arundel; Volunteer of the Year, Kathy Baker; Rising Star, Colby Marvin Bracy of the Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport; President’s Award, Paul Humphrey, owner of Mornings in Paris, Kennebunk; Business of the Year, Sea Love in Kennebunkport, owned by Stacy and Barry Miller; Outstanding Achievement, Steve Kingston, owner of The Clam Shack, Kennebunk; Driven Woman, Danielle Frechette, owner of River’s Edge Spa and Salon, Kennebunk; Nonprofit of the Year, Tommy McNamara Charitable Foundation; Special recognition, Keith Trefethen, Town of Arundel Town Manager for seven years; Special recognition, Mike Pardue, Kennebunk Town manager leaving after six years; Joel Stevens Community Service Award, Kennebunk Police Chief Bob MacKenzie.
As decided by popular vote, DRIVE to Be the Best awards were given to:
Best nightlife, Old Vines Wine Bar, The Pilot House; Best breakfast, Mike’s American Diner, Mike’s All Day Breakfast; Best outdoor dining, Arundel Wharf, The Boathouse; Best cocktail, Old Vines Wine Bar, Batson River Brewing & Distilling; Best beer list, Alisson’s Restaurant, Federal Jack’s; Best takeout, Mekhong Thai, The Clam Shack; Best spa/hair salon, River’s Edge Spa & Salon , The Nail Spa by Thao; Best art gallery, Maine Art Hill, Wendy Webster Good/The Port; Best cup of coffee, Mornings in Paris, Coffee Roasters of the Kennebunks; Best ice cream, Rococo Ice Cream, Ben & Jerry’s; Best lobster roll, The Clam Shack, Alisson’s Restaurant; Best bakery/baked goods, Boulangerie, Mornings in Paris; Best shop/gift shop, Daytrip Society, Dannah for Men; Best garage/auto services, Guay’s Sunoco, Arundel Ford; Best bank, Kennebunk Savings, Camden National; Best fitness club/yoga spot, Spurling Fitness, The Daily Sweat; Best landscaping service, Terrapin Landscapes, Solari Property Care and Excavation; Best real estate company, Pack Maynard & Associates, Kennebunk Beach Realty; Best home improvement company, Hazelwood Handyman Services, Huston’s Home Renovations; Best trails/walks, Hope Woods, Eastern Trail; Best chowder, Alisson’s Restaurant, Cape Pier Chowder House; Best wedding venue, Nonantum Resort, The Colony Hotel; Best golf course, Webhannet Golf Course, Cape Arundel Golf Course; Best local publication, Tourist & Town, Kennebunk Post; Best happy hour, Old Vines, Pedro’s; Best family activity business, New England Eco Adventures, Seashore Trolley Museum; Best place for a first date, Garden Street Bowl, The Lost Fire; Best romantic getaway, Seaside Inn, White Barn Inn; Best spot for a family stay, Seaside Inn, Nonantum Resort; Best local band/musician, Lisa Mills and Ocean Ave, Chris Ross Band; Best customer service, Seaside Inn, New England Eco Adventures; Best financial services, Kennebunk Savings, Nvest Financial; Best photographer, Bob Dennis, Chris Smith; Best water/recreation activity, New England Eco Adventures, KBIA; Favorite non-profit, Seashore Trolley Museum Tommy McNamara Charitable Foundation.
Sponsors included Batson River Brewing & Distilling; “First Gear” sponsors Video Creations, Mike’s American Diner and Nvest Financial; “Second Gear” sponsors River’s Edge Spa & Salon, Southern Maine Health Care, Alisson’s Restaurant and Vinegar Hill Music Theatre.
For information on The Chamber, which includes Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel, visit www.gokennebunks.com.