You should never question the value of volunteers - Noah's Ark was built by volunteers while the Titanic was built by professionals.
This was one of the many jokes Palmerston North town crier Lyal Brenton made while hosting the ninth Volunteer Recognition Event covering Manawatū, Horowhenua and Tararua last month.
The event is organised by Whatunga Tūao Volunteer Central, which has about 120 member organisations and 1500 registered volunteers. Last year there were 17 recipients but this year the number has grown to 32 - 30 volunteers, one business and one organisation.
Manawatū District Mayor Helen Worboys said volunteering was at the heart of any successful community. Volunteering measures its success by the feel-good factor.
She told the recipients their efforts help make our communities a fantastic place to live.
Some people want it to happen, some wish it to happen, volunteers make it happen.
"You are our community angels."
Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden was at his first volunteer recognition event.
He said as mayor it is a privilege to see firsthand the difference volunteers make.
As a proud Rotarian for 35 years, the principle of service was not new to him but he was continually blown away by the work of volunteers.
"You definitely make this region a better place and we sincerely thank you for it."
The recipients were:
Alison McPherson - Age Concern PN & Districts
Grant Perry - City Mission Palmerston North
Shirley Byron - City Mission Palmerston North
Anita Weber – English Language Partners Palmerston North and Red Cross - Pathways to Settlement / Migration Team
Mariana Alletson - English Language Partners Palmerston North
Vicky Forgie - Manawatū River Source to Sea
Josie Brennan - Environment Network Manawatū
Beth Lew - Manawatū Food Action Network
Lance Pedersen - Foxton Beach Community Health Shuttle
Andi Leipst - Manawatū Lesbian and Gay Rights Association
Matt Keen - Manawatū Lesbian and Gay Rights Association
Charlotte Tichbon - Manawatū Toy Library Association
Sheen Yee Goh - Manawatū Toy Library Association
Jess Jin - Mash Trust
Kris Rutherford - Mash Trust
Louise Moss - MentorEd Charitable Trust
Vicki Brunton - MentorEd Charitable Trust
Louise Dekker - Palmerston North Community Patrol
Toni Ferris - Palmerston North Community Patrol
Jill Spicer - Red Cross
Glenys McHutchon - Skills4Living
Pam Good - Skills4Living
Patricia Hayes - SuperGrans Manawatū
Judy Matthews - Work Manawatū
Beverley Dowling - NZ Animal Evacuation
Kylie Tamakaha - independent volunteer
Alana Blair – SuperGrans Manawatū
Umesh Ravji – Digits Charitable Trust
Mel Reeves - Horowhenua Kāpiti Pay it Forward Group
Kelly Fox - Traffic Updates Horowhenua Kāpiti Wellington
Booth's Transport was nominated by Mash Trust for making Harlen's dream of riding in a huge truck come true.
Menzshed Manawatū was nominated by the Manawatū Toy Library Association for fixing toys and fashioning replacements for missing parts.