Awards honour community groups
The Easter Bunny made a special extra delivery to the volunteers who organise the Mapua Easter Fair.
The Easter Fair Organising Committee was the supreme winner of the TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards, held last night at the Rutherford Hotel.
The awards, run in conjunction with the Nelson City and Tasman District Councils, recognise volunteers in the community.
The Mapua Easter Fair has been running for 30 years, and this year had 330 stallholders and 15,000 visitors.
Volunteer Lisa Dunn said she couldn’t believe they had won.
‘‘Particularly when we heard all the other stories [of volunteers], it makes you really proud to be a part of this region.’’
The fair was all about bringing the community together, and it was fantastic to see everyone, young, retired, even visitors to the campground, get involved in the fair, she said.
As supreme winner they won a framed certificate, a trophy and a cheque for $1500. They will also represent the region at the 2012 TrustPower National Community Awards next March in the Far North District.
TrustPower’s community relations representative Teresa Partridge said in the past 30 years the Easter Fair had raised in excess of $550,000 – an incredible amount for a community with a population of fewer than 2000.
The money had gone towards specialist teachers to reduce class sizes, equipment, resources and materials not funded by the ministry. That money also helped make up 90 per cent of the Playcentre’s annual operating budget, she said.
TrustPower’s DeionntsT nte Campbell, general manager generationntsG offical titlente, said there had been 134 entries for the Nelson Tasman competition this year, the largest number ever received for the awards.
‘‘It has been said many times, but volunteers aren’t paid, and it’s not because they are worthless, it’s because they are priceless,’’ he said.
Rimu McGrath from Murchison Area School was the winner of the Nelson Tasman Youth Community Spirit Award.
The overall winner for the Tasman region was Men’s Shed Waimea.
Alan Kissell said they were blown away by the award.
‘‘We weren’t expecting it. We’ve only been going for less than a year. We’re still learning to walk before we can run.’’
Volunteer John Sowman said it was the opportunity to give back to the community which made Men’s Shed so important to him.
‘‘Doing a worthwhile project, and seeing elderly men who haven’t got workshops and more being able to share skills,’’ he said.
The overall winner for the Nelson region was Sexual Abuse Support and Healing (SASH).
Accepting the award, Sarah-Jane Macmillan said it was amazing to receive the recognition.
SASH tended to go a bit unnoticed, because people didn’t like to believe that such things were happening in their community, she said. Even the volunteers wished there was no need for their jobs, but unfortunately it was the reality.
The most important part of the job was giving hope, she said.
‘‘There’s women, and whether they were abused as a child, a teenager or in the present day, it can ruin their life, and it does. But if we can give them hope, then that’s a big thing.’’
Youth Community Spirit
Winner: Rimu McGrath, Murchison Area School
Runner-Up: Brittney Benson, Nayland College
Finalist: Chris Goodyear, Waimea College)
Finalist: Andrew Baxendine, Nelson College)
Finalist: Anna-Kate Goodall, Motueka High School
Finalist: Elise Cautley, Nelson College for Girls
Finalist: Rupert Wockner, Garin College
Heritage and Environment
Winner: Founders Heritage Park Book Fair
Runner-Up: Dramatix Theatre Development Trust
Commendation: Keep Richmond Beautiful
Commendation: Bristol Freighter Volunteer Mechanics
Health and Well Being
Winner: St John Ambulance
Runner-Up: Nelson Community Foodbank Trust
Commendation: Lioness Club of Nelson
Arts and Culture
Winner: Nelson Youth Council
Runner-Up: Mapua Community Library
Commendation: Golden Bay Arts Council
Sport and Leisure
Winner: Nelson Arts Festival
Runner-Up: YMCA Nelson Boxing Gym
Educational and Child/Youth Development
Winner: Tasman Bible Church Mainly Music
Runner-Up: Nelson Safeguarding Children Initiative
Commendation: The Ark
Commendation: Nelson Tasman Business Trust
Commendation: Bridge Valley
Tasman District Overall Winner
Men’s Shed Waimea
Nelson City Overall Winner
Mapua Easter Fair Organising Committee
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