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Te Awamutu's Unsung Heroes

On Friday 17th October 2014 we celebrated the inaugral "Morning Tea and Acknowledged 26 of Te Awamutu's Unsung Heroes" - people in our community who contribute to others not for pay or because they have to, just because they enjoy giving!

2014 Unsung Heroes

Pictured from left to right: Back Row - Bev Dromgool, Ange Holt, Waipa Mayor - Jim Mylchreest, Tim Morgan, Sally West, Vern Wilson Middle Row: Mary Roose, Ruth Taylor-Lucas, Ann Amundsen, Barbara Linton, Rangi Paraha, Sybil Robinson, Glenda Rhodes, Jan Burch, Alison Armstrong, Ruth Titchener, Joy Anunsacion Andersen, Rona Hemara Wahanui, Maureen Fraser Front Row: Billie Crossley, Margaret Yates, Jackie Grinder, Katherine O'Regan, Aileen & Max Quirk, Shirley Stirling Absent: Colin Hall, Jill Taylor, David Kay & Chris Smith.
Stephen Way, Waipa District Council.

The morning was a great success and all those who participated and received awards thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was also wonderful to have in attendance, councillors (Hazel Barnes, Liz Stolwyk, Clare St Pierre, Vern Wilson & Judy Bannon), sponsors & supporters, (Dean Taylor from Te Awamutu Courier, Rhona Cleave from And Studio, Waipa Mayor -Jim Mylchreest, Cathy Plowright & Stephen Way from WDC), Community Board representative Bernard Westerbaan, and most of the people who nominated our heroes. Without them noticing the wonderful contributions these people make, the recognition and acknowledgement of the above recipients would not have been possible.

Special Thanks to Dean Taylor from Te Awamutu Courier (newspaper articles and photos), Rhona Cleave from And Studio (design of certificates), Waipa Mayor -Jim Mylchreest, Cathy Plowright (making the event possible, providing and organising morning tea ), Stephen Way from WDC (for photos on the day), and Hayden Camp from The Warehouse Ltd (providing the certificate frames) and Dave Owen from TeAwamutu.nz (facebook and this page here at the website).

About the Te Awamutu Unsung Heroes Project

This project came to fruition as the result of the Self Expression & Leadership Landmark Education Course completed by me (Ange Holt). As part of this course we were required to do a community project and I chose to identify and acknowledge as many of Te Awamutu's Unsung Heroes with the assistance of the community. This project wasn't about winning so all nominees who qualified were acknowledged.

Te Awamutu has a lot of wonderful generous people in its community. Many are recognised for the things they do particularly if they or their project has a high profile, are involved with sport or affiliated with a volunteer programme. But what about Te Awamutu's Unsung Heroes - the ones that do the day to day things that make such a difference to the peoples lives they touch? People like the lady who every morning (rain, hail or shine) stands at the pedestrian crossing outside school to make sure our children safely cross the road, the gentleman who grows potatoes and sweetcorn in his maize paddock to give to the pensioners, the ladies who arrange for the elderly to get to the chemist, get their hair done and much more. They do not do these things for money or recognition but purely from the generousity of their hearts, and acknowledgement of their good deeds is a very simple way to give back and make them feel great.

Isn't it great to have our community recognise and thank as many of "Te Awamutu's Unsung Heroes" as possible? To give them the admiration they deserve, so that they keep doing what they do and inspire others to join them and become more community spirited and generous. There are many more Unsung Heroes in Te Awamutu and hopefully due to the success of this project it will become a regular event in Te Awamutu and we can continue to acknowledge and recognise the great contribution these people make in our community.

Every nominee received a certificate of appreciation, signed by the Mayor of Waipa, Jim Mylchreest. Below is a photo and a description of what the nominee has done for his/her community.

2014 Unsung Heroes

Barbara Linton Barbara Linton, nominated by Stephanie Owen. For sometime Barbara has been working with the homeless, which includes giving them breakfast. It is only for a small number but is rewarding to to be able to assist those in need. Barbara is also involved with the St Patrick’s Catholic Church and continues to be of service to the Church and community on an on-going basis in many ways.
Sally West Sally West, nominated by Bernard Westerbaan. Sally runs the Te Awamutu Bible Chapel soup run and carried on doing this while going through personal health problems. Sally has a team of helpers in the winter months to assist with this worthwhile project.
Ruth Titchener Ruth Titchener, nominated by Stephanie Owen. For four years Ruth has been giving long term support for special needs clients and she finds this very rewarding being able to help.
Shirley Stirling & Mary Roose Shirley Stirling & Mary Roose, nominated by Ange Holt. Have provided volunteer support for those over 65 and younger with age related disabilities taking them shopping and to health related appointments. They also provide "Meals on Wheels at a small cost. The service is called Te Awamutu Home Support Services.
Jackie Grinder Jackie Grinder, nominated by Stephanie Owen. For just over two years Jackie has been recycling white teddy bears after having a professional wash and makes them each two sets of clothes and sends them to Ronald McDonald House in Auckland and to the Waikato Hospital.
(Absent) Chris Smith, nominated by Rachel Blake. Chris has worked tirelessly for the Te Awamutu and wider Waipa community in excess of 15 years. He has been the President and long time member of the Te Awamutu Chamber of Commerce, Waipa Business Awards, TA Alive, organised and assisted with the Christmas Parade, Pride of Te Awamutu Awards, TA Walk of Fame and was a founding trustee of the Te Awamutu Safer Community Trust which is now known as CommSafe, an organisation he is still actively involved with for which he travels from his new base on Waiheke!
Maureen Fraser Maureen Fraser, nominated by Stephanie Owen. Has been helping at Te Awamutu Primary for a few years working with reading and writing in the junior school. Maureen was a teacher herself and enjoys working with the little ones.
Joy Anunsacion Andersen Joy Anunsacion Andersen, nominated by Kirsty Hunt and Rona Hemara Wahanui. Is a young Mum who set up and runs Pay It Forward Her nominator says “. A fantastic example of how young people can do something awesome using the technology they are familiar with.”
Rona Hemara Wahanui Rona Hemara Wahanui, nominated by Kirsty Hunt. Joined the Pay it Forward team to help Joy and does a huge amount of organising and coordinating food packages, clothing deliveries etc to those in need.
Alison Armstrong Alison Armstrong, nominated by Gareth Duncan. Alison is a strong candidate for this award because.....she has given her time voluntary to Te Awamutu Primary for over 10 years and has never missed a day of work. She is our silent angel putting books away after teachers have used them, running and manning the road patrol morning and afternoons at the school. Alison is always serving others and she is communities example of a `giver`. Alison can be found on a daily basis working for others giving!
Jan Burch Jan Burch, nominated by David Nordell. Has been an active contributor in her community for many years, including fostering dogs and helping at the SPCA, she has helped with KTAB and the Mangaohoi Stream planting, was a long time member of the team at Everybody’s, helps regularly at the Kihikihi horse trials and more recently an active member of the Kihikihi Police House Restoration Trust, the Te Awamutu Community Patrol, and has given hours of time to record over 800 cases of graffiti around town.
Ann Amundsen Ann Amundsen, nominated by Jan Burch. Has been a meals on wheels runner, she unpicks and winds wool, she is a member of the homecare group that was part of Presbyterian support group and still regularly does home visits.
Sybil Robinson Sybil Robinson, nominated by Vicki Manning. For giving up her time to coach kids tennis for many years and she also assists at Puahue School on regular basis even though her own children left a good number of years ago and helps out every year at the annual Calf and Group Day events.
Bev Dromgool Bev Dromgool, nominated by Jan Burch. For many years has been a reliable and loyal member of the Everybody’s team and with no vehicle has walked to Everybody’s on a regular basis contributing a huge amount of work behind the scenes. Longest serving person still there.
Margaret Yates Margaret Yates, nominated by Dennis Fouhy. Margaret works tirelessly for groups like the Stroke Foundation and for the elderly in the community as an unsung hero. She is a selfless toiler and marvelous person.
Max & Aileen Quirk Max & Aileen Quirk, nominated by Jan Burch. Max is an active member of the Kihikihi Police House Restoration Trust, who are currently restoring the Police House and look after Temple Cottage, he also drove the wheelchair wagon for many years and is a keen contributor and supporter of the Mens Shed. Aileen for years has crocheted blankets, hats and baby clothes to give away as well she was a volunteer at Kihikihi School.
Billie Crossley Billie Crossley, nominated by Stephanie Owen. For her years of service to the Maori Women's Welfare League helping many many people, taking over and running the Kihikihi Community Garden and for many hours of volunteer work at Kainga Aroha.
Rangi Paraha Rangi Paraha, nominated by Billie Crossley. Hours of voluntary work for the Maori Women's Welfare League, promoting immunisation for Maori babies, cervical smears for maori woman, running nutritional and healthy cooking programmes, visiting the elderly and sick and helping in their homes, as well as many hours volunteering at Kainga Aroha.
Katherine O'Regan Katherine O'Regan, nominated by Miriam Gage. Started the shuttle and car service to hospital appts in Hamilton, which is now working very well. Katherine has also served on a number of committees in Te Awamutu a couple of these being Chair and committee member of Te Awamutu Community Public Relations Organisation and was a founding Trust Member for 9 years of the Waipa Community Trust.
Vern Wilson Vern Wilson, nominated by Barbara Linton. Vern was nominated for his passion to make the pensioners feel comfortable in the pensioner housing which has quite often meant getting a hammer and nail out to do minor repair work.
Glenda Rhodes Glenda Rhodes, nominated by Liz Sterling. Glenda has supported fellow women with breast cancer for the last 4 years, having suffered herself. She links women and families getting them together for support and fundraising.
Colin Hall Colin Hall, nominated by Liz Sterling. Colin at Menz Shed thinks of others when pieces of furniture are donated. They are fixed and delivered to where they are best suited. He has also been a volunteer at Kainga Aroha for many years.
Pictured: Colin's son David accepting the award.
(Absent) Jill Taylor, nominated by Ange Holt. For her tireless work and contribution for Shoes for Planet Earth and Muffins for the Mums in Skibu at Waikato Hospital, organising parking for the elderly close to the CBD and improving the parking for visitors to town and for helping to assist at a moments notice with the Te Awamutu Unsung Heroes project.
Tim Morgan Tim Morgan, nominated by Rona Hemara Wahanui. For his involvement with the “It’s Not Okay” campaign and the work he has done with the Mens Groups.
Ruth Taylor- Lucas Ruth Taylor- Lucas, nominated by Ange Holt. Runs Everybody’s every second month collecting, sorting, washing, etc, is a Life member of Scouts and looks after the hiring of the hall, accounts, and much of the administration. She is a Life member of the Competitions Society and for many years, assisted at events, collected prizes and donations organised all the food, helps each year at the Te Awamutu Dance recitals and exams organising more food and raffles etc and organises all the soft toys (500-1000) for the Cancer Run - cleans and mends them, redresses them ready to be given away. She featured a couple of years back On TV1 Good Sorts - Always giving never taking.