Young athletes, administrators, volunteers and budding ecologists were among those celebrated at this year’s Gore District Community Awards.
About 400 people attended the annual gala dinner on Friday evening to support their friends and family.
The community awards, the Gore District Council’s flagship event, were held at the Gore Town and Country Club Stadium.
The event started 12 years ago as a way of thanking those who had made a positive impact on the community, and to applaud the achievements of those who had excelled in their chosen field.
This year’s awards attracted 53 nominees across 10 categories.
Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said the calibre of nominees was once again impressive.
“The dedication and innovation across all categories is quite inspiring,” Mr Hicks said.
“The community awards resonates with so many and confirms the fact our district’s strength is in our people,” he said.
Each year the community awards brought together people from all sectors of the community and 2018 was no different, with nominees ranging from teenagers to volunteers in their 80s.
The civic award was won by Kay Lawton, best known to many in the community as “Nanny K”.
She is well-known in many spheres, including as a shearing contractor and for her church work and sharing her knowledge of Maori traditions with the next generation.
Guest speaker was Ian Taylor, of Animation Research Ltd in Dunedin, which revolutionised digital animation in the field of television sports coverage and contributed towards a recent proposal for the development of the Dunedin waterfront.
The Ensign customer service award was won by Gore fashion store Amore.
Shanise Winship, who helps her mother, Michelle Baynes, run the business, said they were surprised to receive the award.
“It was the boost we needed, I guess, and obviously we’re doing something right at Amore.
“Mum’s always said it’s about her customers and it’s the customers that help her grow and the business grow as well.
“It was really awesome to get the award – it means a lot.”
The Ensign people’s choice award winner was Harrison’s Supplies Ltd.
Harrison’s Supplies Ltd administration manager Lisa McGregor said the awards were a well-run event and she thoroughly enjoyed them.
“We were very honoured to be recognised for our work,” Mrs McGregor said.
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that Harrison’s Supplies go that extra mile for our clients and in return they are loyal.”
Harrison’s Supplies Ltd sales manager Johnny Dennis said the event was well organised and guest speaker Mr Taylor was a highlight.
It was great to receive the award, Mr Dennis said.
“[Harrison’s Supplies managing director] Kevin [Ryan] was a bit nervous and so was I, to be fair, getting up in front of that many people, but it was pretty cool.”
Civic Award: Kay Lawton
Mainland Minerals environment award: Winner: Hokonui Tramping Club. Runner-up: Gore High School “Science Around Us” and “Class 90: Young Reporters”.
Anderson Lloyd contribution to arts and culture award: Jeff and Margie Rea.
MLT services to sport award: Liz Maclean (hockey).
Eastern Southland junior sportsperson award: Mikairi Beauchamp-Moore (athletics and hockey).
Sport Southland community coach of the year award: Vicky Weller (netball).
Gore Musical Theatre emerging performing artist award: Campbell Heads.
Soroptimist International of Gore woman of the year: Julie Mitchell.
JD Souness young achiever award: Georgia Thomson.
Customer service award: Amore.
People’s choice: Harrison’s Supplies Ltd.