Ballycastle Rotary Club holds first President’s Night

THE Rotary Club of Ballycastle has held its first President’s Night.

Not only was it an event to mark the end of a busy first year for the new Club but it saw the hand over of some funds to some very commendable causes including Good Morning Ballycastle, Redbay Lifeboat and Friends of the Cancer Centre. The night also provided a platform for the presentation of the Spirit of Moyle Awards.

The focus of the night was on the awards and the winners themselves. President Brian Jamieson explained the awards were something discussed very early on in the formation of the Rotary Club and were heavily backed by all the members.

The thinking behind them was to have annual community based award where people who “went that extra mile” for the area were given some recognition.

Jim Boylan from the Club was charged with overseeing the awards and began the presentation on Friday night by clarifying the rationale behind them.

Jim explained: “Our President Brian got the awards up and running. In its initial year we decided to create three categories to get things started. Thankfully we received a lot of help from a wide range of local organisations and the press to get the awards some publicity and much to our delight we received some fantastic nominations.

“I, along with the rest of the panel, had the daunting and ultimately humbling task of picking the winners. Overall, the standard of the nominees was incredible. After much deliberation the panel felt three very worthy winners stood out and we were over the moon to find out that they were happy to accept their awards and receive a little recognition for the fantastic work they do.”

This year’s winners were:

* Scott Horner – Young Carer 2012 - Scott is described as a wonderful young man who has quietly been caring for his mother and father over the years while still fitting in all the other day to day activities he has to do. He has tirelessly been by their sides, helping where he can and it is something his parents are both very proud of him for. He has also achieved very well at Ballycastle High School and has excelled in sports as a boxer, hockey player and captain and member of Ballycastle Rugby Club.

* James McVicker – Young Volunteer 2012 - James stood out to the panel as someone who has been involved in a vast number of groups and organisations including Exodus, Mencap, Spirit of Enniskillen and Greenlight Gateway in a wide variety of volunteering capacities. He has time and time again went out of his way to help others and given up his own time to help others and again manages to fit it around his busy school work and social life.

* Martin McGuile – Community Champion 2012 - Martin is a familiar face within the town and his volunteer work with young musicians is something that a lot of people are not aware of. He has spent a lot of time working and mentoring people young and old, helping them become and better themselves as musicians. He has nurtured their interest in music and given them something to focus on. Like the other winners he too has done this for a long time and just “gets on with it”.

Jim Boylan added: “What stood out in all three winners was that the work they do tends to go on without there being much spotlight on it. They quietly go about their lives carrying out these admirable works without complaining or seeking any special attention and that is exactly what we hoped to recognise.”

The Club would like to thank all those who helped with the Spirit of Moyle Awards including all those who took the time to nominate, the independent judge Patrick Casement and of course the nominees and winners themselves.

Winners of the Young Carer and Young Volunteer were presented with certificates, cinema vouchers and a glass plaque each while the Community Champion received a certificate, glass plaque and a special cup donated by President Brian Jamieson.

The Spirit of Moyle Awards 2012 were sponsored by Choices International Properties, the certificates were kindly printed by Causeway Volunteer Centre and the glass plaques were designed by Kingfisher Designs.