Flaxmere calendar heroes announced

By Alice Lock

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In song: Rex Graham, chairman of the U-Turn Trust sings with founder Henare O'Keefe and the Flaxmere Boxing Academy at the launch of the Flaxmere Calendar heroes for 2017.Photo/Warren Buckland.
In song: Rex Graham, chairman of the U-Turn Trust sings with founder Henare O'Keefe and the Flaxmere Boxing Academy at the launch of the Flaxmere Calendar heroes for 2017.Photo/Warren Buckland.

Last night 16 heroes and heroines were recognised for their devotion and contribution to Flaxmere as part of the 2017 heroes calendar in front of proud family and friends.

The initiative was launched by the U-Turn trust in 2010 by Hastings District Councillor Henare O'Keefe as a way to counteract the negative publicity towards the suburb.

"It is an opportunity to celebrate people's success and welcome Flaxmere to the world,"Mr O'Keefe said.

Chairman of the trust, Rex Graham, said they wanted to highlight the heroes so they could give hope and inspiration to others.

"The suburb produces some outstanding people and the community is stunning. We were amazed to find All Blacks and world record holders."

Kahurangi Maori Dance Company were presented the month of January for their hard work and dedication to dance in Flaxmere and around the world.

"The graduates are trained in all facets of performing arts, including Maori and Polynesian dance, music theory, voice techniques, drama, stage production and modern dance."

Recently retired constable Michael Kaye was the recipient of February for his ability to go beyond the call of duty.

"He was the founder of C.A.C.T.U.S, which was designed to install discipline and strength to families and individuals and he has been an integral part of the Flaxmere Neighbourhood policing team for the past three years."

Ikaroa Rangatahi Services claimed March for their dedication to making a difference to youth and families in Flaxmere. They are a social service provider who have served Flaxmere for the past ten years.

"This group go where angels fear to tread. They are committed to making a difference and have seen successes."

The Flaxmere Stake Choir from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter- Day Saints took out April for sharing their love in God and music with the community.

Larry Jessup was awarded May for his dedication to making people's lives better. He works fulltime at Te Kupenga A Te Huki Kohanga Reo and has had a strong focus on education.

"He has been on the Flaxmere Primary School Board of Trustees since 1989 and is a coach or manager in a number of sports at a national and provincial level. There is not much he does not do."

Rezpect Dance Academy was announced June for their aim to inspire and encourage young people through hip hop dance.

"It is the first programme of its kind and they strive to uphold Christian values and morals."

The heroes for July were Manaea Matanga from Peterhead School, Rahera Heke from Irongate School, Yvonne Kenare from Flaxmere College, April Vaima from Kimi Ora Community School and Grace Kelly from Flaxmere Primary School.

The hero for August was Prima Volta, which has uplifted and inspired the youth of Flaxmere and the wider region, Mr O'Keefe said.

Damon Harvey took out September for being a strong advocate for getting people active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The October heroes were the Hawke's Bay Correction Officers for their ability to rehabilitate and reintegrate exploits in to the community.

The Flaxmere boxing academy is the hero for November for their dedication to creating warriors in the ring and ladies and gentleman in the home.

Tivaini Fomai is the hero of December for his leadership and mentoring to youth and commitment to others.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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