Monday May 17, 2010 | 11:17 PM

Three well-loved Maine businesses took home top honors at tonight's Maine Family Business Awards Dinner.

Sweetser's Apple Barrel & Orchards, operated by the Sweetser family in Cumberland Center since 1812, won the Maddy Corson Award for a family-owned business with fewer than 25 employees. In the photo above, Greg Sweetser jokes at the podium and gets a laugh from his son, Eben Sweetser, his mother, Connie Sweetser, his father, Dick Sweetser, and the night's emcee, Gregg Lagerquist of WGME-13 (far left).


Marden's Surplus & Salvage of Waterville - known across the state for its catchy slogan and fabulous deals - won the Leon Gorman Award for a family-owned business with 25 or more employees. Here President Ham Marden accepts the award with fellow family members.

This category also merited an honorable mention, won by Mancini Electric of Portland.

Finally, GHM Agency of Waterville won the Shep Lee Award, recognizing the company's strong commitment to community service. In the photo above, company founder Paul Mitchell tells a charming story about grooming the next generation to take over the company.

Close to 300 people filled the Marriott ballroom for the festivities, which included a cocktail hour, a three-course meal and a talk by Stephen Kircher, whose family business Boyne Resorts owns Sugarloaf and Sunday River. Lots of kudos go to community leader Maddy Corson for starting the event 11 years ago and to Maureen Costello Wedge of Sun Media Group for chairing this year's party.

As always, I'll have more photos from the party and details about who was there and what they had to say in this weekend's Scene & Heard section of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Until then, I hope to see you out and about.

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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

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