Rustic Ridge Winery in Burlington Flats and Helios Care in Oneonta are the 2019 winners of the top awards from the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, according to a media release.

The award winners will be honored at the chamber’s Small Business Banquet “Ignite the Fire of Entrepreneurial Spirit” on Thursday, Nov. 21, at The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown. A cocktail reception, with cash bar will begin at 5:45 p.m. and a turkey dinner at 7 p.m.

Rustic Ridge Winery, on the Bennett family farm in Burlington Flats, is the recipient of the 20th annual Small Business of the Year Award.

According to the media release: “The award is given to an Otsego County business that has made a sustained and substantial impact in the community.”

The winery offers New York state-produced and bottled wines and is a destination on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. Owners Rick and Laura Bennett will receive the award.

Helios Care is the recipient of the Breakthrough Business of the Year Award.

According to the media release: “The award is a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit and is given to a business or individual in Otsego County that has shown innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and growth potential. Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care recently renamed itself Helios Care.”

The release said the chamber received a nomination from an anonymous family member who described care from Helios staff as a “life changer” and said the care resulted in a decrease in emergency room visits and acute care visits, which were challenging for the family living a distance away from the hospital.

Along with hospice and palliative care, Helios Care provides bereavement support, caregiver support and a camp for school-aged children and teenagers dealing with grief to share experiences and move through healing.

Chamber Executive Director Barbara Ann Heegan said of the winners, “...they exemplify the successes and contributions that ignite the fire of entrepreneurial spirit with collaboration and the drive to develop sustainable success. This moment provides a golden opportunity to recognize what these leaders of today add to our community and to shine a spotlight on the challenges and triumphs of some outstanding local leadership and to celebrate the unity that brings us together as a community.”

The chamber will also honor its 2019 Intern of the Year winners, the release said. The chamber has presented award for four years “as a way to raise awareness of the talent of college students from Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta along with recognizing the businesses that have hosted the talent of these individuals,” according to the release.

Caitlyn Herilhy, recipient of the Hartwick College 2019 Intern of the Year Award was nominated by Kevin Gray, manager of arts education at the Fenimore Art Museum.

Jared Ciccarelli is the recipient of the SUNY Oneonta 2019 Intern of the Year Award. He was nominated by Michelle Catan of the Small Business Development Center in Oneonta.

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