But Timaru is on the up and up, and I can see the outlying communities of the district are following the lead.
The Awards were announced and presented earlier this evening (Monday, July 13) in front of more than 150 volunteers and their supporters. District councillors, Mayor Damon Odey and the honourable MP for Rangitata Jo Goodhew were also in attendance.
Two representatives received (who?), on behalf of the dozens of other volunteers involved, a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 in prize money. These folks also will have the opportunity to represent the district at the 2015 Trustpower National Community Awards, being held in Dunedin next March.
In total, Trustpower gave away over $5,000 to various community groups through the awards tonight, and have doled out more than $73,000 in the awards programme within Timaru since we began working in the region in 2001.
Trustpower Community Relations Representative Arielle Monk says there are many small communities in New Zealand that could learn from the volunteers seen at the awards this evening.
“Around the country we know small rural communities are struggling more and more. But Timaru is on the up and up, and I can see the outlying communities of the district are following the lead. This year we had entries from Pleasant Point, Geraldine and Temuka – it’s really good to see a spread across the Timaru district.
“The Roller Skating Club has essentially put Timaru on the map in their sporting arena too; the sheer amount of hard work poured into getting their new rink up and running is amazing.
“They, and everyone else we saw tonight, are a real testament to the type of people the Timaru district grows.”
The competition for this year’s Awards was strong, with more than 23 groups entered for the judging process. Monk says the number of social wellbeing and health volunteer groups was heartening, and she is hoping to double the number of entries at least for next year’s awards.
“Now that I’ve got to know the district a bit, and spent time out and about, I’ll know where to find the volunteers humbly hiding away – there are so many people going unrecognised for keeping the fabric of these communities together.”