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'Community spirit is stronger than ever': Residents being recognized by Newmarket chamber, Upper Canada Mall

The Community Spirit Recognition award honours Newmarket residents for their community contributions with a certificate and mall gift card

Outstanding residents of Newmarket are being recognized this month in a partnership between the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and Upper Canada Mall. 

The two organizations came together to create the Community Spirit Recognition, in which one resident will be chosen by a panel of judges to receive a certificate and a $100 gift card for shopping at Upper Canada Mall. 

The initiative began as a way to say thanks. 

"We know that Newmarket has a lot of community spirit, our residents are proud to live, work and play here. We wanted to do something to allow our residents to shine a spotlight on those who really define the spirit of our community," said Christine Seidman, marketing manager at Upper Canada Mall. 

The first two awards were given for the months of September and October with a $50 gift card prize, however, they wanted to increase the amount for December with the holiday season. 

You can nominate any Newmarket resident for the award on the chamber’s website

“We've all met people who consistently lift others up — the friendly cashier who always has a kind word for everyone, the volunteer who goes above and beyond, the work teammate whose positivity continually inspires other… Help us recognize them,” the website said. 

Names and other identifying details are removed from the nominations before being presented to a panel of three judges to anonymously select a winner. 

"I believe it has given people the chance to recognize and thank the members of our community who go out of their way, in any capacity, whether large or small, to show that they care," Seidman said. "The past two years have been difficult, but I believe that community spirit is stronger than ever, and this program has showcased that." 

The gift cards and certificates are presented to the winners at Upper Canada Mall where they have their photo taken and talk with members from both organizations about their contributions to the community.

The first winner was Sarah Nguyen, a recent graduate from Urban Studies at York University. She was recognized for advocating for better lighting on pathways in the Woodland Hills area, to improve safety and accessibility for those using the paths. 

The second winner was Malka Snobel, a teacher in town who creates a positive community in her classroom with initiatives like affirmation jars and food drives. She said she doesn't know who nominated her but the award made her day. 

The deadline for nominations for the last Community Spirit Recognition of the year is Monday, Dec. 13. 


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Elizabeth Keith

About the Author: Elizabeth Keith

Elizabeth Keith is a general assignment reporter. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2017. Elizabeth is passionate about telling local stories and creating community.
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