The Bald Angels Charitable Trust did not win a national Trustpower Community Award in Queenstown on Saturday, but delivered a "special touch" to the weekend that had done the Far North proud, and would not be soon forgotten.
So said Trustpower community and communications adviser Abbie Siely, after the Kerikeri-based trust went head to head in friendly competition with 25 of the country's best and brightest volunteer groups and projects, every one of them a regional supreme award winner.
Thérèse Wickbom and Inky Vink brought an extraordinary amount of passion to the weekend, and really opened people's eyes to the hardships that many families face," Siely said.
"In a gesture of kindness, the group gave everyone in the audience a packet of seeds. It was really symbolic of what the group achieved over the weekend - they have sown seeds of kindness, compassion and action that will grow around New Zealand."
The Bald Angels Trust won last year's supreme Trustpower Far North Community Award, presented in Kaitaia, for its work to bridge the gap between those who are willing and able to donate and those in desperate need of assistance.
The trust co-ordinates a range of fundraising activities throughout the year, and donates the proceeds to "coalface" agencies best placed to identify and connect with families needing help.
In between a weekend of sightseeing and networking, Wickbom and Vink gave an eight-minute presentation outlining the challenges faced by many families in the Far North, and how Bald Angels works to help them.
Each contender was judged on their presentations, along with a 1000-word summary of the organisation, by their peers and a panel of independent judges.
The national supreme award went to Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade (Whakatane District) in recognition of around-the-clock efforts during the evacuation and clean-up after last year's flood, putting fellow townspeople first, even though their own homes were damaged.