THE selflessness and devotion of our district’s unsung heroes was celebrated at Down District Council’s Chairman’s Annual Awards 2014.[caption id="attachment_48908" align="alignleft" width="390"] Outstanding Charity Champion of the Year: Frank Donnelly, Chairman of Down Special Olympics Club was very humbled to collect this winning award.[/caption]
A total of 36 local stalwarts, who have dedicated every spare moment to a host of causes over the years were rewarded for their hard work and commitment at a gala evening ceremony in the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel, Newcastle on Friday 11 April.
The Chairman’s Awards 2014 uncovered the incredible talent of people who have made outstanding contributions to their charities, made a positive contribution to their local community, put people first and inspired others to get involved. Volunteers, community leaders and charitable organisations were among the finalists.
Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Maria McCarthy hosted the red carpet event and said in her welcome speech: “During my term of being first citizen of Down district, I have had the great pleasure of meeting individuals and representatives who work selflessly and with great devotion for the people of our district. This work takes place in our charitable sector and benefits many individuals and families.
“Our charitable sector is an invaluable source of support to our community and that’s why I believed it was important to award this sector during my term as Council Chairman.Best New Charity: Cllr Maria McCarthy congratulates Jacqui Mason on behalf of Marie Curie Donard Fundraising Group for winning in this category. Also pictured is Master of Ceremonies Siobhan McGarry[/caption]
“I am immensely proud to be recognising and rewarding the truly remarkable work of our unsung heroes who work for our local charities and not-for-profit organisations, I hope that tonight’s event goes some way to honouring and celebrating the excellent work by many of you.”
Councillor McCarthy conveyed her gratitude to those who took the time to submit the nominations, adding without their support, “we could all very well be unaware of the great work and success within the charitable sector in Down District”.
Special thanks was also given to Miriam Hamilton for helping with the difficult judging process. Miriam, is NI Regional President of Soroptimist International and is a key figure in the Downpatrick and District Soroptimists. Her experience of working with a number of local charities and community organisations was invaluable during the judging process as she brought sound judgement to the process.
Following the gala dinner and ceremony, guests were entertained by Northern Ireland’s Stand Up Comedian Jake O’Kane and local musician Stephen Rafferty.]]>