Prince Edward Island Business Owner Receives George Key Sr. Citizen of the Year Award
SUMMERSIDE, PEI — David Groom said he was honored when he learned he had been chosen to receive the George Key Sr. – Summerside Citizen of the Year award this year.
“It was good,” Groom said. “It was humbling and kind of grateful.”
Groom received the award July 1 at the Canada Day Civic Ceremony, which was attended by dozens of Summerside residents.
Groom owns the Quality Inn and Suites in Summerside, Brother’s Two Restaurant and the Feast Dinner Theatre.
Through these businesses, he’s always ready to lend a hand, whether that’s employing refugees and newcomers from places like the Philippines or hosting volunteers there for a free meal.
“We like to recognize volunteers (in) the community,” he said, adding that he’s hosted volunteers from groups like Summerside’s Free Store and Meals on Wheels.
“We do this when we feel someone has done good in the community and needs recognition.”
Recently, Groom has also been doing his part to help local Ukrainian refugees, helping them find accommodation.
His businesses aren’t the only ways Groom lends a helping hand to those in need. For the past six years, he has sponsored the Coat for Kids program at the Summerside Boys and Girls Club, where he met Free Store owner and operator Belinda Woods, who also participates in the program. She nominated Groom for the award. For the past two years, he has lent his support to Woods and donated to the store.
“During COVID, we had to make appointments to get the kids in and out,” he said. “She is a tremendous asset to the community. Talk about volunteering, she’s up there too.
Deborah Brown, granddaughter of George Key Sr., presented the award, saying her grandfather was a “kind, caring, gentle man” who always worked to make Summerside better.
“From what I understand of David Groom, he shares my grandfather’s values,” Brown said. “I know my grandfather would be very proud of this year’s recipient.
Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart also attended the ceremony, acknowledging all that Groom has done for the community.
“Thank you for your many contributions to many organizations,” Stewart said at the ceremony. “We have a better city to live in because of your efforts.”
At the ceremony, the College of Piping also received the C. Ross MacKenzie Award, which is given annually to an individual or organization that makes a significant contribution to Canada Day ceremonies in the city.
“They’re always there for the city of Summerside,” Stewart said.
Kristin Gardiner is a reporter for the SaltWire Network in Prince Edward Island. @KristinGardiner