Two Petaluma businesses focused on maintaining wellness and building a sense of community were honored last month as recipients of Petaluma's Community Awards of Excellence.

The Petaluma Valley Athletic Club received this year's award for Excellence in Small Business, but not because of its range of fitness equipment or variety of sports facilities.

"The club offers people a chance to center themselves and revitalize their personal goals," wrote Krista Gawronski, who nominated the club for the award.

"We were all really proud to get something like that," said Rob Domont, who owns the PVAC with his wife, Martha. "We love being part of the Petaluma community, and we love the people there. It hasn't been work."

Since its inception in 1998, the PVAC has supported the community by hosting numerous fundraisers in support of Petaluma families and individuals, including a bone marrow drive for CJ Banaszek, who is battling leukemia. Martha Domont, a breast cancer survivor who has walked almost 700 miles and raised over $100,000 for cancer research, has encouraged many Petalumans battling cancer to stay active and positive by offering them access to the club free of charge.

"The owners and staff have a philosophy that encourages everyone to take care of one another," Gawronski wrote in her nomination letter. "It is the kind of spirit that unites Petaluma."

Honored on the opposite end of the business spectrum was hydration company CamelBak, which won this year's Excellence in Large Business award.

"One of our company values is: 'People inspire us,'" Kerri Tuuri, vice president of human resources at CamelBak, wrote in an email. "The local community, which we are privileged to be part of, helps gives us that inspiration."

Tuuri wrote that CamelBak takes pride in supporting community organizations such as the Petaluma Educational Foundation and Friends of the Petaluma River. The company also sponsors events such as the Petaluma Footrace and Sonoma County's Bike to Work initiative.

"Petaluma has been the perfect backdrop for our company headquarters," Tuuri wrote. "Its natural outdoor playground is a wonderful place for our associates to align their professional talents with their personal passion for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle."

Hosted by the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce, the Petaluma Argus-Courier and the Sheraton Petaluma Hotel, the Community Awards of Excellence, which were presented March 27, highlight businesses and individuals who go above and beyond to serve their community.

(Contact Allison Jarrell at allison.jarrell@ar