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There are hundreds of helpers behind this event.
Jess Somerville, Trustpower Community Relations Representative

Over 130 people gathered at the Marlborough Civic Theatre this evening for the Trustpower Marlborough Community Awards which were presented by Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman and Trustpower Community Relations Manager Graeme Purches.

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

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Jess Somerville says Garden Marlborough are keen to encourage as many people to get their hands into the garden as possible.

“This team promote and stimulate public interest in gardening by organising a series of gardening activities across the year. This includes their iconic four day festival which consists of a variety of workshops, garden tours and a Sunday fete. Over the 21 years it has been running it has grown to be the third largest event for Marlborough and it attracts a significant number of visitors from outside the region.

“There are hundreds of helpers behind this event who set about managing the registrations, leading the bus tours, introducing speakers at workshops, making morning and afternoon teas, giving advice at the reception desk and generally doing everything they can to make it a friendly and memorable experience. They also entertain, educate and enchant up to 4,000 fellow garden lovers through garden tours, workshops, dinners and exhibitions.

“This festival is also a community fundraiser with local community groups raising funds on the day, lots of organisations and schools helping them out in return for a donation and a portion of the ticket price going towards projects such as the Department of Conservation forest restoration project. They also give grants to local organisations and schools to encourage garden projects too, like Witherlea School to buy a mulcher so pruned branches can be chipped and put back on the gardens.

Marlborough District Mayor Alistair Sowman says each year the team manage to blow the crowds away with an impeccably organised event in the hope the next generation will be just as keen to get out into the garden, learn from other gardeners and become volunteers too.

“A huge congratulations to the dedicated team behind this festival”, says Mayor Sowman.

Sixty-two entries were received for this year’s Trustpower Marlborough Community Awards, the second highest number received.

Other award recipients at tonight’s Trustpower Marlborough Community Awards were:

Heritage and Environment
Commendation: Rai Valley Cultural & Archives Trust and Rural Women Rai Valley
Runner-up: Havelock Museum Society Inc.
Winner: Matai Bay Hut Sub Committee

Health and Well Being
Commendation: Marlborough Community Foodbank
Commendation: Alzheimers Marlborough
Runner-Up: IHC Volunteer Programme
Winner: Awatere Community Trust

Arts and Culture
Runner-Up: Picton Flower Ladies
Winner: Marlborough Art Society

Sport and Leisure
Runner- up: Picton Society of Model Engineers Inc.
Winner: Marlborough Equestrian Park NZ Inc

Education and Child/Youth Development
Runner-Up: Blenheim Playcentre
Winner: Marlborough District Youth Council

Supreme Winner
Garden Marlborough Inc

Youth Spirit
Winner: Jonathan Cash
Finalist: Tamsin Woolf
Finalist: Rosie Argyle