Chamber announces two award winners

The Bellingham Business Journal

The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry has announced the 2009 winners for Green Business and Non-Profit of the Year awards. The 2009 Non-Profit of the Year is the Womencare Shelter and the 2009 Green Business of the Year is Earth First Lawn Care.

Womencare Shelter was established in 1979 to provide safe, confidential, emergency shelter and support services to women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. Womencare Shelter is Whatcom County’s only 24-hour domestic violence help line and 24-hour crisis intervention for survivors of domestic violence, their family, friends, or co-workers. Individual and group advocacy-based counseling is available. They also offer legal, medical and financial referrals.

“It is so exciting to be recognized by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry” said Kirsten Hammer, executive director for the Opportunity Council.

Ken Oplinger, president/CEO of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber said he was very pleased to announce Womencare Shelter as the 2009 winner.

“This organization gives a tremendous amount to the community, and we are happy to be honoring them this year,” Oplinger said.

Earth First Lawn Care’s mission statement is “changing the industry one lawn at a time.” The company boasts the use of environmentally friendly lawn care equipment and techniques.

“We offset all of our carbon emissions making us 100 percent carbon neutral. Our goal with each property is to create healthy, thriving landscapes using organic practices and applying safe, eco-friendly products,” said James Rowe, owner of Earth First Lawn Care.

Oplinger said Earth First is a more than deserving recipient of the Green Business of the Year award.

“This innovative company deserves to be recognized for their efforts in helping our environment,” Oplinger said.

For more information about Womencare Shelter,  call (360) 671-8539 or visit For more information, about Earth First Lawn Care, call (360) 813-0040 or visit

These awards along with the Large and Small Businesses of the Year, and the Man and Woman of the Year Awards will be announced at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet on Dec. 9 at Lakeway Inn and Conference Center. For ticket information, contact the Chamber at (360) 734-1330.

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