Annapolis Valley Events and Sport Tourism Association hands out awards

Moores, Sawlers honoured for their contributions to Valley events.

John Decoste
Published on March 3, 2014
Valley Harvest Marathon3: 1

Published on 08 October 2012

Steve Moores, founder of the Valley Harvest Marathon in 1983, was the honourary starter and was at the finish line distributing medals.

Photos by Jennifer Hoegg

AVESTA: Grace Moores

Published on 02 March 2014

<p>Grace Moores accepted an AVESTA Special recognition award on behalf of her late husband Steve Moores. Steve was recognized for his years promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, his role in founding the Valley Harvest Marathon and with the Martock Ski Patrol.</p>

Photos by John DeCoste -

AVESTA: Sawlers

Published on 02 March 2014

Ron Sawler thanks the association for the special recognition awarded to him and his wife, Marg Sawler, for their long involvement with Berwick Gala Days.&nbsp; The Sawlers’ granddaughter Michelle, left, accepted on behalf of her grandmother

Photos by John DeCoste -

AVESTA: Exhibition

Published on 02 March 2014

<p>Windsor mayor Paul Beazley presents the AVESTA Event Legacy Award to Anne-Marie Pearle, representing the Annapolis Valley Exhibition.</p>

Photos by John DeCoste -


Published on 02 March 2014

<p>Kings County deputy Warden Brian Hirtle, right, presents the Sport Legacy Award to Rod Dorey, one of the founders of the South Berwick Invitational Golf Tournament.</p>

Photos by John DeCoste -


Published on 02 March 2014

<p>Wolfville Coun. Dan Sparkman, centre, presents the AVESTA Venue of the Year award to Ryan Lindh, right, and Kentville mayor Dave Corkum, representing The Gorge mountain bike, walking and hiking park in Kentville.</p>

Photos by John DeCoste -


Published on 02 March 2014

<p>Accepting the Event of the Year award for the CHL Top Prospects Game in Digby was Cindy O’Neil. From left, &nbsp;Jean Brittain, O’Neil, presenter Kentville Mayor Dave Corkum and Danny Harvieux.</p>

Photos by John DeCoste -

By John DeCoste

The fifth annual Annapolis Valley Events and Sport Tourism Association awards Feb. 28 included a new special recognition category honouring significant or long-time contributions to events in the region.

Read what guest speaker Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood told the lunch guests here.

The inaugural recipients of the special recognition were Ron and Marg Sawler of Somerset, among the driving forces behind Berwick Gala Days, and the late Steve Moores, founder of the Valley Harvest Marathon.

 “Steve really believed in the benefits of an active lifestyle, and promoted it in everything he did,” said Grace Moores, who accepted the award on behalf of her late husband who passed away in November after being ill with cancer. “He would be very proud to receive this today.”

Steve, who had a strong belief in the benefits of an active lifestyle, not only talked the talk, he walked the walk, whether as a runner, an organizer of running events, or as a member of the Ski Patrol. One of his crowning achievements was the Valley Harvest Marathon, which he founded and which was first held in 1993, and which still thrives today.

 “I was overwhelmed when I heard about this,” Grace said. “It’s been really wonderful all the tributes Steve has received, even though he never did anything he did for the thanks he might receive for doing it.”

Ron Sawler volunteered with Berwick Gala Days for 37 years, serving mostly as secretary. Marg Sawler, who was unable to be present for the award, was involved for 28 years, most of the time as treasurer. Though they have since retired, Ron stressed, “we still help out where we can.

 “I felt a need to do something in and for the community. I thoroughly enjoyed everything I did over the years, and we’re really pleased that Gala Days continues to thrive today.”

2014 AVESTA awards

Sport Legacy

Winner: South Berwick Invitational Golf Tournament.

Begun 39 years ago by Dale Lloyd, Rod Dorey and Dave Fillmor, the annual event now raises money for Valley Child Development, and has contributed more than $200,000 to that cause. Other nominees were the Fred G. Kelly High School Hockey Tournament and the Valley Harvest Marathon.

Event Legacy

Winner: Annapolis Valley Exhibition

An annual Lawrencetown staple for 87 years, the weeklong agricultural fair regularly attracts more than 40,000 visitors. The exhibition is known for its community focus, including light and heavy horse and oxen events, displays and competitions, and always features top-notch entertainment.   Other nominees were the Tremont World Fair and the Windsor/West Hants Pumpkin Regatta.

Venue Award

Winner: The Gorge

A popular mountain biking, walking and hiking facility is located in Kentville.  First developed in the 1930s, the venue has become a popular destination in all seasons, especially since the construction of a bike skills park. It regularly plays host to mountain bike competitions, group rides and clinics and well as hosting hundreds of hikers, walkers and snowshoers. Other nominees were Northville Heritage Farm and the Old Orchard Inn and Spa.

Event of the Year

Winner:  Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game

Hosted in Digby last November for the second year in a row, the event included a two-day training camp and practices leading up to a showcase game featuring some of the best junior-aged hockey players in Canada. The game attracted more than 800 fans plus a number of professional scouts. Other nominees were 225th anniversary celebrations at King’s-Edgehill School and the 175th anniversary celebrations at Acadia University.