Top cit­i­zens hon­oured

Stratford Press - - News -

When Suzy and Jamie Allen lost their el­dest daugh­ter, Car­rie, to cancer when she was just 12, they did they only thing they knew how — they turned their grief into ac­tion, sold their house and built Taranaki Re­treat, a space for those fac­ing ex­treme stress, strug­gling with men­tal ill­ness, or hav­ing sui­ci­dal thoughts.

Last week, the Al­lens were two of the 12 com­mu­nity mem­bers awarded a New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Coun­cil’s Cit­i­zens’ Award, recog­nis­ing them for their sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the dis­trict. Col­lec­tively, this year’s re­cip­i­ents have decades of vol­un­teer­ing ex­pe­ri­ence across a range of sec­tors, in­clud­ing sport, ed­u­ca­tion, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, Civil De­fence, emer­gency re­sponse and health and well­be­ing.

The awards, now in their 39th year, are an an­nual event invit­ing nom­i­na­tions from right across the dis­trict. This year’s re­cip­i­ents came from Waitara, New Ply­mouth and In­gle­wood, all nom­i­nated by oth­ers from within their own com­mu­ni­ties.

“One thing we know about our dis­trict is that it is filled with vol­un­teers who freely and self­lessly give their time and en­ergy to the com­mu­nity,” says mayor Neil Holdom.

“The Cit­i­zens’ Awards are a chance for our com­mu­ni­ties to recog­nise and ac­knowl­edge their own com­mu­nity he­roes — the do­ers; the be­hind-thescenes peo­ple who make things hap­pen. There are many com­mu­nity he­roes out there and the re­cip­i­ents of this year’s awards are 12 of our dis­trict’s best. I couldn’t be more de­lighted and proud to recog­nise such a spe­cial group of peo­ple from within our com­mu­nity.”

■ Other re­cip­i­ents of the New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Cit­i­zens’ Awards for 2018 are Lynn Bublitz, Ali­son Cole, Grant Downes, Faye Drav­itzki, Bruce Find­lay, Karen Gil­lum-Green, Jean Hastie, David Leask, Erica Perry and Elise Smith.

Back, Ma­jor Michael Fabish, Lynn Bublitz, Grant Downes, mayor Neil Holdom, Bruce Find­lay and Staff Sergeant James McArthur. Front row from left: Faye Drav­it­ski, Suzy Allen, Erica Perry, Karen Gil­lum-Green, Elise Smith and Jean Hastie. Ab­sent: Jamie Allen, Ali­son Cole and David Leask.

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