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This passionate group of volunteers live and breathe the Whanganui Opera House. With a “die in a ditch” mentality they have previously rescued this heritage building from demolition and they are the reason why and how this beautiful establishment is available to everyone.
Kathlene Cook, Community Relations Representative

The Friends of the Whanganui Opera House won the Supreme Award at the third annual Trustpower Energy Direct Whanganui District Community Awards.

 

The Awards were announced and presented tonight (Monday 12 October) at a function at the War Memorial Conference Centre.

 

For winning the Supreme Award, the Friends of the Opera House received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money.  The Friends of the Opera House now have the opportunity to represent the district at the 2015 Trustpower National Community Awards, which are being held in Dunedin in March 2016.

 

In total, Trustpower has presented over $5,000 to various community groups through tonight’s Awards.

 

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Kathlene Cook says it is a pleasure to acknowledge such an incredible voluntary group, maintaining and breathing life into a true community gem.

 

“This passionate group of volunteers live and breathe the Whanganui Opera House. With a “die in a ditch” mentality they have previously rescued this heritage building from demolition and they are the reason why and how this beautiful establishment is available to everyone.

 

Whanganui has an amazing reputation across the country for its opera. Here you produce some world class opera singers. The huge efforts put in by the friends are helping to establish Whanganui as a bit of an arts center. Because this beautiful Royal building is so wonderful it is attracting wonderful students, then tutors and it snowballs from there, says Kathlene”

 

A whopping 98 entries were received in this year’s Trustpower Energy Direct Whanganui District Community Awards.

 

“The Whanganui District is home to a large number of voluntary and community based groups and organisations who work hard to make the Whanganui District a great place to live. The Trustpower Community Awards highlight and celebrate the huge contribution of these voluntary groups and, thanks to the people who entered these groups, we are able to host the region’s biggest celebration for voluntary groups that highlights their accomplishments, successes and services that these groups provide to their community,” says Kathlene.  

 

Other recipients at tonight’s Trustpower Energy Direct Whanganui District Community Awards.

 

Heritage and environment

Runner Up: Bird Rescue Wanganui Manawatu

Winner: Bushy Park Trust

 

Health and Wellbeing

Commendation: Matipo Development Trust

Joint-Runner Up: Age Concern Wanganui Inc

Joint-Runner Up: Wanganui Cancer Society

Winner: Red Cross Wanganui Branch

 

Arts and Culture

Commendation: Wanganui Lyric Singers.

Runner Up: Whanganui Festival of Cultures Planning Group

Winner: Friends of the Opera House Inc

 

Sports & Leisure

Runner Up: Wanganui East Swim Club

Joint-Winner: Coastguard Wanganui

Joint-Winner: Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club

 

Education & Child Youth Development

Commendation: Rapanui Brunswick Playcentre.

Runner Up: Wanganui Foster Care Association

Winner: SeniorNet (Wanganui).

 

Special Commendation

Wanganui City College

 

Supreme Winner: Friends of the Opera House

 

 

Youth Community Spirit

Winner: Renee Harrison of Wanganui Girls’ College.

Finalist: Kacie Warren from Cullinane College.

Finalist: Alexander Torrie from Wanganui High School.

Finalist: Eliza Maher from Wanganui Collegiate School.