Operation Owen up for national award

00:32, Mar 20 2014
Derek Craig
Cromwell builder Derek Craig, Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan and Jared Anderson from Edwards Plumbing and Heating work to get the floor ready before the Operation Owen community house build this weekend.

The fundraising project Operation Owen is taking on other volunteer groups from throughout New Zealand at the Trustpower National Community Awards in Invercargill this weekend.

Operation Owen, which claimed the supreme prize at the Trustpower community awards for Clutha last year, will now represent the district at the national level.

It will go head to head with representatives from 24 other voluntary organisations that were named the supreme winners in their regions.

The project began more than two years ago when Kylie and Derek Craig had the idea to set up a working group to fund and build a custom-designed house for their friends, the Owen family.

Jodie and Terry Owen, in Kaitangata, have two young daughters with a rare condition that affects their balance and co-ordination.

More than $300,000 of building materials, appliances, furnishings and fundraising money went into the project.


Attending the national awards will be the Craigs along with Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan and his wife Allyson.

Operation Owen will give an eight minute presentation of what the group has achieved and why they deserve the supreme national title.

It will be judged on the presentation as well as a 1000 word essay about the organisation.

Trustpower community relations representative Emily Beaton said Operation Owen have put together a fantastic presentation.

"This band of volunteers has been working hard behind the scenes for a long time to help out deserving members of their community," she said.

The Clutha community should be proud of what the team has achieved, she said.

"They will make wonderful ambassadors for your community."

The national winner will take home $2,500, a trophy and a $500 voucher from Exult, a training provider for the community sector.

The presentations will take place at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill on March 22.

The national winner being announced at an awards dinner that evening.


The Southland Times