Western Bay community groups and volunteers were honoured at a special awards ceremony last night, with a theatre group taking top honours.
Katikati Theatre Incorporation was the Supreme Winner at the 2013 TrustPower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards at Fairview Estate, Katikati. The group was awarded a framed certificate, trophy and $1500 prize money and will represent the district at the 2013 Trust Power National Community Awards in March next year.
Te Puke High School student Jessica Earle received the Youth Spirit Award for her contribution to her school and community.
For the past 18 months she has taken part in the school's CACTUS programme, a boot-camp style programme aimed at improving leadership, fitness, well-being and self-esteem. She is also part of her school's Peer Support programme, co-captain of Hillary House and a member of the Sports Committee. She is also a member of Youth Search and Rescue and has given hundreds of hours to the organisation. She was nominated by her school, which said she was respectful, worked hard, had a "can-do" attitude and was willing to help out where she could.
The main winner of the evening was Katikati Theatre Inc, chosen from 57 successful entries in the 18th annual community awards.
Trust Power community relations representative Teresa Partridge said Katikati Theatre had brought entertainment to the community for three years through volunteers who told stories via song and dance.
More than 50 volunteers of all ages had put on five productions, including two they wrote themselves, and six workshops. While it was hard to judge the amount of voluntary hours invested in the shows and workshops, during a production it could be up to 260 hours per month.
One of the three judges, Western Bay of Plenty District Council councillor Maureen Burgess, said the calibre of entries was high and it was hard to choose a winner.
Trust Power Western Bay of Plenty Community Award Winners
Heritage and Environment: Te Puke Forest & Bird and Kiwi Conservation Club
Health and Well Being: Katikati Cancer Support Group
Arts and Culture: Paengaroa Community Association
Sport and Leisure: Katikati Skateboarding Club
Education and Child/Youth Development: Life Education Trust Western Bay of Plenty
Youth Spirit: Jessica Earle, Te Puke High School
Supreme Winner: Katikati Theatre Incorporated