The district's combined rural fire force have scooped the Supreme Award at the 2015 Trustpower Ashburton Community Awards last night at Hotel Ashburton.
The Awards were announced and presented last night (Monday, June 8) in front of almost a hundred spectators, entrant nominators and volunteers.
Two representatives received, on behalf of the dozens of other volunteers involved, a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 in prize money. These folks also will have the opportunity to represent the district at the 2015 Trustpower National Community Awards, being held in Dunedin next March.
In total, Trustpower gave away over $5,000 to various community groups through the awards last night, and have doled out more than $61,000 in the awards programme within Ashburton since it began in 2001.
Trustpower Community Relations Representative Arielle Monk says the volunteers of the Combined Rural Fire Force Units are now nation-wide leaders with their new firefighter's welfare fund.
"These firefighters are seriously committed to taking care of one another and, unfortunately, in a job as dangerous as theirs that involves thinking ahead to the possibility of tragedy.
"The Ashburton district should be extremely proud of this team. They took a seriously crap situation in 2009 and have turned that into something of a legacy," she said.
"That's a real testament to the type of people Ashburton grows."
The fund Monk refers to has been set up in the last 12 months as a provision for the families of firefighters who may struggle financially in the event of losing a loved one.
Ashburton is the first district in the country to provide this service for rural firefighters.
The competition for this year's Awards was strong with more than 30 groups entered, and 29 registered for the judging process. Monk says the number of social service volunteer groups was heartening.
"Organisations like SEEDS and Fruit Fund are doing something to better the fabric of Ashburton's society; I've got no doubt that these are the people volunteering to be the change they want to see in the world."
|Supreme Winner||Combined Rural Fire Force Units|
|Heritage and Environment||Winner: Mid Canterbury SPCA|
|Health and Well Being||Winner: Combined Rural Fire Force Units|
Runner-up: SEEDS Family Wellbeing Programme
Commendation: Ashburton Menzshed
|Arts and Culture||Winner: Ashburton Trust Events Centre Volunteer Ushers|
|Sport and Leisure||Winner: Canterbury Mountain Bike Club|
Runner-up: Ashburton Motorcycle Park Inc
|Education and Child/Youth Development||Winner: Fruit Fund|
Runner-up: Ashburton Cadet Unit
Commendation: Mid Canterbury Childrens Day
|Youth Spirit||Winner: Aira Alombro, Mt Hutt College|
Runner-up: Lizzy Leonard, Ashburton College