Local heroes were acknowledged for their efforts at the Clutha District Community Awards held last week.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan and councillors acknowledged the dedication to volunteer work during an awards ceremony at the West Otago Community Centre last Tuesday night.

The awards are held annually by the Clutha District Council to formally recognise volunteer work throughout the district.

Waihola Looking Forward was the supreme winner of the group award for the completion of the community-led Waihola Playground Redevelopment Project, which was officially opened on Sunday, June 18.

Individual awards were presented to Evan Dick, Edward Fitzgerald, Pam Keddell, Graham Walker, Jill Wallace and Hans Van Der Linden in acknowledgement of their service to the community in the district.

Mr Cadogan said the event was an opportunity to celebrate the district’s community champions.

“These people put in tireless hours of their volunteer time to support and make improvements to their communities.

‘‘We are just so appreciative of what they have achieved and continue to achieve for Clutha,” Mr Cadogan said.

Other groups presented with awards in a range of categories included Te Whare Puawai o Tokomairaro Inc (health and wellbeing) and the Lovells Flat Women’s Institute (heritage and environment).

Winning recipients in each of the community group categories received $1000 and the Supreme Winner received $2000.

Year 13 Blue Mountain College pupil Sven Captijn was the successful recipient of the Youth Spirit Award for his outstanding contribution to his school and community, and was presented with $750.

High-calibre awards were presented to South Otago High School pupils Ryan Williams and Charlotte Benington and Blue Mountain College pupil Elizabeth Lamb.

The Clutha Leader will profile individual award recipients in depth during the coming weeks.