Here are your finalists for the first Wayfare Spirit of the Wakatipu Awards.
More than 120 different people, groups and organisations were nominated before the deadline last Wednesday evening.
The awards, organised by the Wakatipu Community Foundation and Queenstown’s council, celebrate philanthropy in Queenstown, in all its forms.
Foundation trustee Simon Green says: “If I’m honest we were hoping for around 50 nominations.
“Then when we got to 60 we thought maybe we could get close to 100, but never anticipated 120.”
A judging panel comprised of trust and council representatives had the difficult task to pick three finalists for each category.
“It’s a very tough process when you are trying to decide which of so many amazing nominees then get that extra bit of recognition as finalists, as everyone nominated makes a valuable and much-valued contribution to our community.”
To spread the love a little further, the organisers have decided to add another three awards.
There’ll be a Wayfare Lifetime Achievement Award, a special Mayoral Award and a People’s Choice Award.
All awards will be presented at a Wayfare Spirit of the Wakatipu Gala on Saturday, September 14. On the night, the first round of grants from the Kate Moetaua Foundation will also be made, along with grants to local charities from Wakatipu High School’s 2019 Generation Give Youth Phil-anthropy NZ programme.
Green says the gala, which features entertainment, dinner and dancing, has been moved to the bigger venue, Queenstown Events Centre, but tickets are still limited and people need to act fast. The tickets go on sale on Monday.
Mountain Scene will be running a public poll to determine the 2019 People’s Choice Award. All nominees and finalists are eligible to be considered, voting will commence on Friday, August 16.
And your finalists are….
SPIRIT OF EDUCATION (sponsor: Queenstown Resort College)
Cory Ratahi / Korerotia
Justin Eden / Rock Formation
Wakatipu High School Foundation
SPIRIT OF HEALTH AND WELLBEING (FINDEX)
Verona Cournane / Happiness House
SPIRIT OF SPORT AND RECREATION (Deloitte)
Queenstown Mountain Bike Club
SPIRIT OF ARTS AND CULTURE (Gibbston Valley Wines)
Luke Baldock / LUMA
SPIRIT OF RESILIENCE (Powernet)
Wakatipu Search & Rescue
SPIRIT OF SENIOR SUPPORT (Adept-Mactodd Charitable Trust)
SPIRIT OF ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY (Be. Local Honey Collective)
Ben and Rebecca Teele / Predator Free Arrowtown & Wakatipu Reforestation Trust
Esther Whitehead / Sustainable Queenstown
(AJ Hackett Bungy)
Branches Charitable Trust
Wakatipu Youth Trust / Richie Hadlow
SPIRIT OF THE COMMUNITY (Queenstown Airport)
Queenstown Lions Club
Rotary Club of Queenstown
Arrowtown Autumn Festival
CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP (Print Central)
The Rees Hotel
Colliers International Queenstown
RISING STAR AWARD (More FM)
SOCIAL IMPACT INNOVATOR(Mitchell Mackersy Lawyers)
Tony McQuilkin / Queenstown Trails Trust
Community Housing Trust