THE Pride of Hartlepool Awards have won glowing tributes from town figureheads and members of the community.
The Hartlepool Mail’s awards night showcases the passion and pride that exists in the town and our efforts to make sure people are publicly honoured in true style were praised widely.
The sheer emotion displayed at the awards was summed up by those who attended.
One reader who attended the event as an onlooker said it actually made him feel proud to be a Poolie, never mind those who picked up awards.
David Fender, who put forward a contender who made a shortlist but did not go on to win, did not let that detract from the overall night.
He was quick to tell us: “Just wanted to say a huge gratitude of thanks for the awards night. I nominated David Stacey for the Community Award and watched the programme with my 10- year-old daughter. From the magician, pianist, great buffet to the presenters, very, very professional. Born and bred West View Road and a product of Henry Smith School, it made me proud to be from Hartlepool. Great stuff and can I have tickets for next year!!”
Another email simply read: “What an emotional evening and not embarrassed to say I shed a tear. Can’t wait for next year.”
Young and old were honoured at the innovative awards aimed at highlighting those people who go that extra mile without any thoughts of self-recognition, publicity or praise.
Hartlepool RNLI crew, which picked up a top honour, tweeted this message: “We are proud that we were chosen as winners of the 2012 Pride of Hartlepool Emergency Services award. Well done.”
Others were honoured for their sheer determination, courage and commitment.
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond, who presented one of the awards, said: “I am delighted to be involved. Hartlepool is oozing with talent and pride.
“There are some exceptional people at this event.”
Hartlepool District Commander, Superintendent Glen Gudgeon said he was humbled in the presence of those at the event. He said: “Being at an event such as these awards is actually an honour. To be with such inspirational people at such an emotive event means a great deal to me.
“Everything about the ceremony was exceptional.”
Mail editor Joy Yates said: “The categories cover every aspect of life. Everyone who is nominated, shortlisted or eventually collects an award is a true winner.
“Such people are a genuine reflection of the pride that people have in themselves and in their town.
“It is fitting that we can honour their achievements and celebrate their courage and commitment.”
One emotional category in the Pride of Hartlepool Awards is Child of Courage.
This year the three youngsters who were put forward captivated a near 200-strong audience at Hartlepool College of Further Education on Thursday night.
Not only were their individual stories recounted in words but emotional videos played at the ceremony. They can now be viewed at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk
They captured the true emotion of how families deal with children that need constant care but continually smile throughout their ordeals.
TFM radio presenter Wayne Allen, who compered the awards for the second year running, said: “These awards are a highlight for me.
“People in Hartlepool are truly special and these awards are a perfect opportunity to promote that message.”
Pictures from the event can be viewed, ordered and bought at northeastpress.newsprints.co.uk
• A 12-page supplement from the awards will be published with the Hartlepool Mail on Wednesday, March 28.