Trustpower starts search for Waitaki’s own heroes

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Nominations are open for this year’s Waitaki District Community Awards.
All volunteer groups in the Waitaki district are eligible to be nominated for the awards, which are run by Trustpower and the Waitaki District Council.
They include five categories: heritage and environment, health and wellbeing, arts and culture, sport and leisure, and education and child/youth development.
Anyone in the district can nominate a group.
Trustpower community relations representative Arielle Monk will be in the area over the next month, visiting towns and neighbourhoods to hunt out volunteers of the same calibre as last year’s supreme award winner, the Duntroon and District Development Association.
“I’ll be in Oamaru and about the district to find some of those groups and people myself; we all know how humble and unassuming volunteers can be,” she said.
“In a district like Waitaki, it’s so good to know that there are over 100 groups of people doing their bit in some small way. A lot of those groups will be supported by the same individuals over and over, but with a slightly growing population, hopefully there’s scope for more volunteers to share the load for those who’ve been around for years.
“These awards are just one small way we can say to those volunteers, `Cheers for that’, and make these local heroes feel a bit special with an evening of drinks, nibbles and story-telling.”Since 2003, the council and Trustpower have given $67,300 to volunteer groups in the Waihemo and wider Waitaki area, with more than $5000 in cash prizes on offer this year.
Entries are open for about 10 weeks, and nominated groups are asked to provide information on their work.
That information is judged by a panel of councillors and community representatives.
Finally, the awards are announced at a presentation ceremony. Last year, 106 nominations were received.