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Published April 28th, 2021
Moraga Chamber bestows 2020 Business & Nonprofit of the Year honors
Award presentation to Canyon Club Brewery, from left: Moraga Chamber member Ron Haas, owner Kevin Hamilton, Chamber member Peggy Hall, CCB employee Kirsten Popcke, Chamber members Larry Tessler and Hannah Mattioda. Photos provided

After an incredibly difficult year, during which time the entire world reconfigured itself, the Moraga Chamber of Commerce picked up where it left off by awarding this year's Business of the Year honors to Canyon Club Brewery and Nonprofit of the Year accolades to the Rotary Club of Moraga.
The Chamber's criteria for nomination are: Practice good business strategies; support the Moraga community; serve as a good business role model; have good customer relationships; demonstrate ethical business practices; and be a member in good standing.
One of the newest businesses in town, Canyon Club Brewery located at 1558 Canyon Road, has quickly made its philanthropic mark in the community. Since opening its doors in July 2019, owner and Lamorinda resident Kevin Hamilton has used his signature product, beer, as the catalyst for many fundraising endeavors.
In October, CCB had created 25 kegs of a custom blend beer to serve across the Bay Area. All proceeds went to Notes for Hope in their mission to support breast cancer prevention. In the early days of shelter-in-place mandates, when folks were home doing a lot of baking and supplies were running low at grocery stores, CCB created Pop-up Bodega. Because they were able to get regular deliveries from suppliers, CCB decided to order ingredients that were becoming scarce such as flour, chocolate chips, yeast, eggs, brown sugar, etc. Eventually, they also sold hand sanitizer (their own blend), gloves and the most coveted item of all - toilet paper. They even gave away a roll of TP with every to-go order.
CCB had also teamed with Campolindo Football Moms for Diversity and the Campolindo football team to hold an in-house fundraiser whereby 10% of all proceeds from the evening was donated to the Diversity and Inclusion Program.
They regularly partner with Saint Mary's College for the school's fundraising efforts; are involved in brewing a signature beer for the Ales for ALS cause; and are working with former Oakland A's manager Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) to develop a special beer. Anyone who adopts a rescue animal should take a photo and submit it for consideration onto the beer's label.
Hamilton was shocked when members of the Chamber showed up at CCB with a plaque presentation: "It was really nice! When things got bad with COVID, it was the town of Moraga that kept us afloat. The town really saved us, and I think Moraga deserves this award." Where is the plaque now? "It's in our manager's office. We haven't found a permanent place for it yet. We'll probably build a wall where we can display it along with newspaper articles about us." For more information about Canyon Club Brewery visit: www.canyonclub.works.
Nonprofit of the Year honors went to the Rotary Club of Moraga. Historically, the global Rotary organization has been around for more than 110 years with a "network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves." There are over 35,000 clubs worldwide working to promote peace; grow local economies; fight disease; support education; save mothers and children; and provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
Moraga's Rotary was established in 1967 and has assuredly done its duty in upholding the global organization's standards. Proceeds from the Club's most recent fundraiser, a Lasagna Dinner, were used toward installing security cameras at all Moraga School District campuses by June. They have also been collecting donations to equip all 110 classrooms with medical kits.
Additional community support comes in the form of: Funding and building the All-Access Children's Playground at Moraga Commons Park; annually funding the Brother Albert Rahill/Moraga Rotary Endowed Scholarship at Saint Mary's College; provide two scholarships to the Camp Royal Leadership Camp; provide three Campolindo Senior Student College Scholarships; annually make over 300 Christmas stockings for children in Juvenile Hall; donate to the Moraga Education Fund; hold Rotary E-Waste Recycling and Document Shredding Events; support the Moraga Community Faire; award gift certificates to a Teacher of the Month; and that's just on a local level.
Internationally, the Club provided housing, care and education for a group of children in Sierra Leone who became orphaned due to an Ebola epidemic. They are also helping to build the first Lumumba Children's Library and Learning Center in Goma, Congo, a city of over 1 million people where most children don't attend school regularly. Add to that, another current project in Tecpan, Guatemala where Club members will travel to install concrete floors in homes that have only dirt floors.
Rotary Club President Brian South was conducting a member meeting on Zoom when Moraga Chamber of Commerce Board Member Ron Haas had asked for a moment to discuss Chamber business. Much to the surprise of the approximately 25 attendees, he proceeded to notify the group that they were the Chamber's Nonprofit of the Year recipient. "We are excited, pleased and honored to receive this award," stated South. When asked where the award would be displayed he chuckled, "Right now it's on my office wall."
South is very proud of the organization's achievements in Moraga and beyond. "We're actively looking for new members to help serve the community." He encourages interested parties to visit their website, www.moragarotary.org, for more information and click onto "Contact Us."

Moraga Chamber of Commerce board member Ron Haas (left) presents award to Moraga Rotary president Brian South. Photos provided

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