HARTLEPOOL has toasted its community heroes on a night of tears and emotion.
The Best of Hartlepool awards came to a wonderful finale last night with the very best that the town has to offer picking up awards.
The audience stood to applaud our fantastic four Child of Courage award-winners in a moving tribute to their bravery.
The little heroes were Dylan Davis. Lucy Owens. Jack Stevens and Sonny Wood.
Dylan, 21 months, has craniosynostosis, which causes sections of the skull to be fused together, preventing it from expanding and leading to pressure on the sufferer’s growing brain.
The condition affects just one in every 3,000 babies.
Even though there were a deserving 16 winners on the night, every one of our finalists was a real winner.
Lucy, two, has had Type 1 diabetes since she was eight months old, and was the youngest person in the North-East for 20 years to have the diagnosis.
Jack is 15 months old. He has half a functioning heart, and has already spent more than six months of his life in a hospital bed.
And four-year-old Sonny battles through week after week of treatment for leukaemia.
They were just some of our deserving heroes.
And even though there were a deserving 16 winners on the night, every one of our finalists was a real winner.
Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy a glittering occasion at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield.
Other highlights included Lorna Jones, 80, winning the Lifetime Contribution award for 30 years of working tirelessly to promote and support the work of Hartlepool & District Hospice, of which she was a founding member.
Tireless fundraiser Michael Day, who founded the Miles for Men charity, won the Judges’ Choice awards, while the Carer of the Year award went to Kaitlyn Crowther, 13, for the way she has helped her mum Nicola Crowther, 37, who is battling a rare condition called Gaucher’s Disease.
Other winners were Bartek Wawrykow (Achieving Excellence Award), Georgia Burrows (Child of Achievement), Dwane Douglas (Fundraiser of the Year), Sweet P’s Garden Centre (Green Champion), Georgia Lennon (Performer of the Year), Graeme Handley (Emergency Services), Darran Atter (Role Model of the Year) and Bryn Morris (Sporting Excellence Award).
•Watch out for more highlights, interviews and photographs from the night in a souvenir supplement in the Hartlepool Mail next Wednesday.
Achieving Excellence Award - Bartek Wawrykow.
Carer of the Year Award - Kaitlyn Crowther.
Child of Achievement - Georgia Burrows.
Child of Courage - Dylan Davis, Lucy Owens, Jack Stevens, Sonny Wood.
Community Group/Champion Award - 1 Hart 1 Mind 1 Future.
Fundraiser of the Year - Dwane Douglas.
Green Champion - Sweet P’s Garden Centre.
Performer of the Year - Georgia Lennon.
Emergency Services - Graeme Handley.
Role Model of the Year - Darran Atter.
Sporting Excellence Award - Bryn Morris.
Judges Choice Award - Michael Day.
Liftime Contribution Award - Lorna Jones.