The Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its annual award winners at its membership dinner at Point Lookout on Friday during a Nor’easter.

The annual award dinner is both a celebration of the economic community across Waldo County plus serves as the yearly membership meeting of the chamber.  Despite the snow falling all day, around 200 people attended from all over Waldo County, including Unity, Liberty and Lincolnville.

Six awards were given out after dinner to chamber members who had notable accomplishments this past year.  The Growth Award was presented to Bell the Cat, which expanded its Belfast location by moving into and improving the old Pizza Hut building, notably with an outdoor patio.  The New Business Award was given to Lincolnville General Store whose co-owner Briar Lyons acknowledged her staff and the community in their success.

A new award this year was the Waldo County Business Award to emphasize the chamber’s role across the county.  The inaugural award was earned by Belmont Boatworks as a highly accomplished business located outside the city of Belfast.  The Hometown Heritage Award to long-operating businesses was given to Colburn Shoe, and the Chamber Appreciation Award was presented to Jim LeClair of Smart DataMap Services for his assistance to the chamber this year.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the previously undisclosed Citizen of the Year.  Lee Woodward of Belfast was given the award by his friend and Rotary-mate Ed Varney of award sponsor Damariscotta Bank & Trust, who teased the awaiting crowd by describing the winner as someone who has contributed to the community in many ways and “is never at a loss for words.”    Lee teased back, as he is known to do, by ribbing several attendees and himself.

Pictures of the evening and the award winners can be viewed at Rachel Epperly’s webpage at