Local entrepreneurs shared their stories of triumph and struggles Thursday night at the P.W Enns Business Awards Gala.
One story so moved guest speaker David Chilton he spontaneously pledged $5,000 to the Bunker youth drop-in from the podium.
The Bunker took home the 2017 Non-Profit of the Year.
In his acceptance speech, Executive Director Kevin Hildebrand says it was an honour to be noticed, but awards can't measure the success of ministry.
"Empowering a young girl to leave an abusive situation, that's success," Hildebrand says.
An unmarried couple becomes pregnant unexpectedly, but finds support at the Bunker and choose to keep the child and get married, or a teen that drops out of high school, only to be mentored by Bunker volunteers and chooses to return and graduate, "that is success," he says.
Their business model begins and ends with relationship, "we love unconditionally," Hildebrand explains. "It's about the youth we serve."
Receiving the award then, he says, is "publicly saying the youth of this community matter."
"I don't believe in coincidence," Tomm Penner, Owner of Dominion Outdoor said following Hildebrand to accept the award for Business Builder for ten employees or less.
"But I wouldn't be the person I am today without the Bunker," he explained. "What they're doing really works."
Later, guest speaker and well-known author of the 'Wealthy Barber' and TV personality David Chilton announced he was making a $5,000 donation to the Bunker.
"Unbelievable," he called it, to hear the sincerity of the award winners. "This is a lovely community."
Peter Loewen of Country Cycle and Ski took home the award for best Customer Service.
Loewen says retailers know the difficulty of trying to please people of different personalities, but customer service is his passion.
Penner Waste was awarded the Business Builder award in the ten or more employees category.
Jake Penner says when he started in the industry working for a landfill and seeing the materials being buried that could've been diverted "I had to get on the other side of the fence."
Starting his own waste management company with his wife Barb, together the Penners have continued to find more ways to divert recyclable materials from the landfill.
Winkler Coop took the prestigious Business Excellence award.
General Manager George Klassen accepted the award, "on behalf of our 15,000 members, that's you."
He notes when a community sets its sight on a goal "they can move mountains," something Klassen says can be seen in Winkler on a regular basis.