The best among us

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PICTURE: BLAIR PATTINSON

The community of Queenstown was asked and has answered in full voice.

Ninety-six people, groups and organisations had been nominated for Spirit of the Wakatipu Awards, as Mountain Scene went to press yesterday.

Nominations for the new awards – run in partnership by the Wakatipu Community Foundation and Queenstown Lakes District Council – are now closed.

And there have been so many nominations, the foundation, through the Scene, will now run a People’s Choice Award.

“Once we’ve had the all-clear from our nominees, we’ll publish a list of names and people can make a pick, alongside all the other categories,” foundation trustee Simon Green says.

The awards celebrate philanthropy in the Wakatipu, across a wide spectrum – including time, skills, money and passion.

There are 10 main categories and three finalists will be picked for each on Monday, by a panel consisting of foundation trustees and Queenstown council representatives.

“We’ve had 165 submissions for 96 different nominees.

“There’s some amazing stand-outs there – some individuals have been nominated more than a dozen times by different people. It just goes to show that recognition is there.”

Green says the foundation is now in the process of contacting the nominees to check they’re happy to be nominated and get some more of their story.

“It’s going to be a long night on Monday, a lot of talking and backwards and forth, but a good problem to have.”

A gala awards ceremony and dinner will be held at Queenstown’s Memorial Centre on Saturday, September 14.

School philanthropy project Generation Give and The Kate Moetaua Endowment Fund – set up in memory of the inspirational local drama teacher – will also make their first grants at the ceremony.

Tickets are not yet available, but those who want to attend can contact the foundation, communityfoundation.co.nz and join the waiting list.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz