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'Best of Washington Township' winners celebrated by chamber of commerce

By Michelle Caffrey / South Jersey Times South Jersey Newspapers
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on October 12, 2013 at  7:37 AM, updated October 12, 2013 at  7:38 AM

bowt-ribbonFrom accountants to water ice and everything in between, 103 businesses selected as “Best of Washington Township” were celebrated at the Washington Township Chamber of Commerce’s award ceremony Thursday night.

Held at the Wedgwood Country Club in Washington Township, the award ceremony brought together small business owners, local officials and the chamber to award proclamations to the winners of the contest, run by the Washington Township Times and the chamber.

-19a5e29219e93660Readers of the Times submitted hundreds of ballots to cast their votes for the best categories of businesses, including medical offices, restaurants, home services, and more.

Tom Fletcher, president of the chamber and winner of the best printer category for his PostNet franchise, said he was glad to see  businesses of Washington Township come together and celebrate their impact on the community.

“It’s fantastic. This is great, people coming out to support one another in Washington Township. I’m excited for them, and I’m excited for the chamber,” Fletcher said.

For Mary Lou Clark of Meinhart Tree Service and Janet Ripica of Advanced Air — winners of best tree service and HVAC company, respectively— the awards came as an appreciated shock.

“We were very surprised when we got the letter in the mail,” Clark said.

“It’s always nice to get recognized,” said owner of Salina Wine and Liquors Joe Matusiak, the winner of best liquor store in the township. He said he’s always eager to get involved and contribute to local groups and events, and is glad those connections have made an impression.

“It’s what we do for the community,” he said. “I’ve been in the business for 21 years. I enjoy doing what I do.”

After remarks from Sen. Fred Madden (D-4 of Washington Township) and Freeholder Heather Simmons, Washington Township Mayor Barbara Wallace congratulated the winners, particularly the winner of “Best Event,” the Washington Township Historic Preservation Advisory Board. Wallace praised the board's chairman Nick Appice for the board’s efforts to rejuvenate the Olde Stone House Village, packing its schedule full of new events and establishing it as a destination for township history once again.

“[Appice] is a star. He brought our history back to life,” said Wallace. “He is one of our young stars in Washington Township.”

Appice said he was shocked to hear of the award, but is thrilled people are enjoying their hard work revamping the Olde Stone House Village.

“It’s unexpected and awesome,” said Appice. “We had no idea we were in the running ... We finally have a great commission, we’ve got a great team and it’s nice to see it finally turn around.”

Contact staff writer Michelle Caffrey at 856-686-3686 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.