The Award ceremony held last year was a fun social gathering in October, unlike the virtual one this year which has been postponed to Nov. 14. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)

The Award ceremony held last year was a fun social gathering in October, unlike the virtual one this year which has been postponed to Nov. 14. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)

Houston to host its Community Excellence Awards virtually

The Houston & District Chamber of Commerce postpone the event to November

With virtually most events and activities moving and adapting to an online format, the Houston & District Chamber of Commerce has decided to move their Community Excellence Awards online as well.

“Keeping COVID-19 restrictions in mind, the 2020 Community Excellence Awards will take place virtually.We will be hosting the event via Zoom and will be live streaming it on Facebook.We will be asking the nominees to attend the Zoom portion of the event, and community members will be able to attend via Facebook live,” said Maureen Czirfusz, the Executive Director for the chamber.

A gathering and ceremony that usually has community members coming together and cheering on winners will look completely different this year due to the mandatory social distancing.

“Typically, we would all gather to celebrate the past year’s successes in the Houston Community Hall; unfortunately, this is not possible. But, as we all know, the show must go on,” said Czirfusz.

The Community Excellence Awards will be held on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. The nominations for the awards opened up on Oct. 19 to kick off Small Business Week.

“You will be able to nomination your favourite business or community group electronically. You will be able to find a link on the front page of our website that will take you directly to the nomination page,” said Czirfusz adding that those who don’t have access to a computer, nomination forms can be picked up at the Houston & District Chamber of Commerce office.

The chamber introduced the online nomination process just last year, taking them a step ahead and making it easier to prepare for this year’s socially distanced ceremony.

The awards and evening are financed by donations from various businesses. Sponsoring businesses either sponsor individual awards or contribute to the overall cost of holding the function.

Each year, the award ceremony is also transformed into catered evening event. This year, to replace the catered portion of the event and to make it festive despite it being all virtual, the chamber has partnered with its local Chamber members to provide the community with the option of purchasing a Community Excellence Awards platter to take home and enjoy while watching the event from the comfort of their homes. Community members will need to order their platter in advance from one of the participating members and additional information on this will be made availabe on the the chamber’s Facebook page.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in our community and around the world.That is why it is so important that we celebrate the Houston businesses and community groups that make our community an amazing place to work and live,” said Czirfusz.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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