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posted: 1/20/2017 5:30 AM

Barrington-area honors excellence at awards gala

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  • Mark Welsh/mwelsh@dailyherald.comBryan McGonigal of McGonigal's Pub won the BACC Hospitality of the Year Award at the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser on Thursday.

    Mark Welsh/mwelsh@dailyherald.comBryan McGonigal of McGonigal's Pub won the BACC Hospitality of the Year Award at the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser on Thursday.

  • Mark Welsh/mwelsh@dailyherald.comGale Demarco-Cohen of SportsClips-Fox River Grove won the BACC Rookie of the Year Award Thursday night. Barrington Area Chamber Chairman Liz Luby (left) announced the winners.

    Mark Welsh/mwelsh@dailyherald.comGale Demarco-Cohen of SportsClips-Fox River Grove won the BACC Rookie of the Year Award Thursday night. Barrington Area Chamber Chairman Liz Luby (left) announced the winners.

 
 

More than 200 business and community members gathered Thursday night at the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser for an evening of refreshment, networking and celebration.

Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Corr said in her speech that the event was a celebration of chamber people.

"This is a room filled with leaders who excel at business and community," Corr said.

The BACC Hospitality of the Year Award went to McGonigal's Pub, the Irish tavern that was established in 2010. The Community Partner of the Year Award went to JourneyCare, a nonprofit that provides hospice and palliative care. The New Business of the Year Award went to The Windy City Bulls, the Hoffman Estates-based D-League team for the Chicago Bulls. The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Nancy Roach of Upstream Investment Partners. The BACC Rookie of the Year Award went to Gale Demarco-Cohen of Sportclips in Fox River Grove. And the BACC Leadership Award went to two people this year: Patty Jacobsen of Jensen, Jacobsen & Associates and Ed Tobias of Tobias Family Dentistry.

The Young Entrepreneur Awards, which have been handed out to members of a student-run company that is part of the business incubator class at Barrington High for the last three years, went to the students behind Hidden Harbor. Their company was awarded $15,000 in seed money last year to create a new style of shorts that have special elastic pockets to make it easier to get in there.

"It makes it easier to get in and out of the pocket without sacrificing style," Tom Jomantas, a Barrington High senior said.

The students are working with a Milwaukee-based manufacturer and hope to begin selling their shorts in the spring.

The silent auction benefited the Lauren Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is awarded each year to high school students who will study communications or marketing. Lauren Brown served as the chamber's communication director before dying from ovarian cancer.

In addition to gift baskets and certificates, there was a lot of memorabilia featuring the Cubs World Series win. Other prizes were unique experiences, like being able to have a pizza lunch with the Barrington Fire Department.

Members of 4 Strings Attached, a McHenry-based nonprofit music group, performed during the dinner buffet. Their set featured a solo performance of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" by the youngest of the young performers, a 5-year-old girl named Shannon.

The event was hosted at Stonegate Conference & Banquet Centre in Hoffman Estates.

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