Entries for two community awards which recognise and thank local voluntary groups and individuals for their contributions to the community have opened today.

People have until 5pm on Friday April 15 to nominate candidates for the Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards which acknowledge groups, and the Rotorua Lakes Council Community Awards which are for individuals.

The Rotorua Lakes Council community awards are to recognise outstanding community service by an individual and national and international achievements by local people over a long period (15 year guideline).

The Trustpower Lakes Community Awards recognise and thank local voluntary groups and their contributions to the community, anyone can enter a voluntary group or organisation in the Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards, including voluntary groups themselves.

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Since the Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards began in 1999 more than $78,000 has been given away to deserving voluntary groups and organisations, and this year more than $5000 is up for grabs.

Last year there were 62 entries into the Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards.
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick encourages people to get behind both awards.

"Each year volunteers make an enormous contribution to the Rotorua community; from coaching sports teams to driving environmental projects to helping families along their way.

"The value of volunteers is often underestimated and the Trustpower Community Awards and Rotorua Lakes Council community awards are a fantastic way of giving them the recognition that they so richly deserve," Mrs Chadwick said.

Entry forms are available from the council offices or service centres or can be completed online at www.trustpower.co.nz/communityawards and www.rotorualc.nz.

Entry forms can also be received by calling Emily Beaton on 0800 87 11 11.

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The Trustpower Community Awards cover five categories; Heritage and Environment, Health and Wellbeing, Arts and Culture, Sport and Leisure, and Education and Child/Youth Development.

Category winners receive $500, runners-up receive $250 and the Supreme Winner will take home $1500 and an all-expenses paid trip for two representatives to the 2016 Trustpower National Community Awards.

Last year's Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards Supreme Winner was Rotorua Youth in Emergency Services.