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In safe hands: Wakatipu Community Foundation chair Ray Key, left, and trustee Simon Green with some of the trophies being presented at this year's Spirit of the Wakatipu Awards

By TRACEY ROXBURGH

Queenstown’s Covid heroes are being sought for the second edition of the Spirit of the  Wakatipu Awards, being announced in September.

Event organiser and Wakatipu Community Foundation (WCF) trustee Simon Green says as tough as the past 18 months have been in the resort, it’s also shown the strength of the community.

First held in 2019, the awards, run by Queenstown’s council and WCF, acknowledge community contributions across 12 categories, including education, arts and culture, sport and recreation, health, youth, environment and sustainability.

WCF chair Ray Key says they’re a chance to recognise and celebrate individuals, organisations, groups and corporate entities who put their hands up and ‘‘contribute in a
philanthropic way’’ to the community, and who ‘‘hold true to the values that collectively define what is unique about the place we call home’’.

The nomination process is ‘‘really easy’’ — anyone can make a nomination, and any person or organisation can be nominated.

Green says more than 100 nominations were received for the first awards and he’s hoping to see more this year.

‘‘We always knew there was an appetite amongst Queenstowners to be able to  acknowledge those who take special care of our community, but were blown away by the groundswell of nominations we received in 2019, and this year is proving no different.

‘‘We’ve already received over 115 nominations, and are expecting plenty more before close [tomorrow].’’

This year there’ll also be a special acknowledgement by mayor Jim Boult of all those directly involved in the Covid response effort, and grant presentations from Wakatipu High
School’s Generation Give programme and the Kate Moetaua Foundation.

‘‘The gala is a very special night and the atmosphere in 2019 was amazing,’’ Green says.

‘‘It’s a great opportunity for people to catch up, reflect, celebrate and have a bit of a party — which right now we need as a community.’’

For nominations and tickets visit wakatipucommunityfoundation.co.nz

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz