Local good sorts were honoured for their community contributions at the Clutha District Council Community Awards in Balclutha last Thursday night.
The Lawrence Skate Park committee, Murray Harris, Marilyn Redditt, and pupil Sophie Ruffell, all received awards during the ceremony at Balclutha’s Rosebank Lodge.
Supreme volunteer group was the Lawrence Skate Park committee.
Clutha deputy mayor Stewart Cowie, officiating, said the award acknowledged the group’s passion to build a skate park, providing a safe environment for youth to enjoy, suitable for all ages and an asset for the Lawrence› Tuapeka community.
He said the committee was formed four years ago when a group of 10 pupils from the local area school began writing letters to get the support required to build a skate park in Lawrence.
They wanted a safe environment for youth to enjoy a favoured pastime away from the main road, off the footpaths and out of car parks.
Since then, $195,000 has been raised, and the young group has also secured a lease agreement with the Ministry of Education for a site on unused school land for the park to be built.
Noted skate›park builder Dave North was engaged to build a state›of›the›art skating facility, but due to Covid›19 restrictions was delayed until March this year.
The facility was completed with help of the committee in May.
Other awards included individual awards presented to Mr Harris and Mrs Redditt.
These were an acknowledgement of their loyal commitment and support of West Otago and the community groups and facilities with which they had been involved for many years. South Otago High School year 13 pupil Sophie Ruffell received the Youth Spirit Award for her outstanding contribution to her school and community, and was presented with $750.
Judges were so impressed with the overall calibre of the year 13 nominees this year, they decided to award additional prizes to each.
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan praised the winners.
‘‘These groups and individuals are just putting their heart and soul into their community and it’s a privilege for council to be able to formally thank them.’’
Winning recipients in each of the community group categories received $1000 and the supreme winner received an additional $2000 to help support the good work they were doing.
Mr Cadogan said this was the first year the awards were held with the council acknowledging community groups, as well as individual ‘‘unsung heroes’’, and Clutha youth who were showing leadership and service to their school and community.