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Fantastic Turnout at Annual Awards
01 May 2009
An amazing 470 tickets were sold for the annual dinner, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which was an fantastic achievement by the organising a committee in such difficult economic times. But not only that but a recognition by the business community in our city of how important a role the Harps play in the lives of so many young people especially in the many areas of social deprivation we operate in.
The awards was all about celebrating the role of the volunteer in the club and four of the best in the club got their due recognition. In all fifteen volunteers were nominated for the 2008 award and they also must have been proud that fellow club members and players took the time to nominate them to show their appreciation of voluntary effort. We were delighted to have Tom Daly, president of the Ulster Council as our guest of honour. We are assured that the strong links between the club and the GAA in Ulster will continue to prosper in the years ahead.
The evening opened by a stunning sixteen hand display of Irish Dancing from the Caroline Greene school and continued with a spot by Down based comedian Big O. After a presentation by the pupils from St.Michael's and Thorntree primary schools on their joint anti sectarianism work it was onto the auction, which alone raised over £6,000. The evening concluded into the small hours with music by the Belfast band The Chevys.
Janice Aitken was a worthy recipient to the John Porter Award. Janice is pictured with John's son Kevin and Awards Committee Chairman, Tommy Main. The other award winners were; Coach of the year-George Hay, Young Person of the year-Adele Clark and partner of the year- Seamus Shields of Advance Construction (Scotland).
Pictured with Tom Daly above is Seamus Shields of Advance Construction (Scotland) Seamus is the first recipient of the Partner of the Year Award. This award is to recognise a sponsor or agency who supports or works best with the club. Although it was a difficult choice with so many groups supporting the club in 2008, no one can question the effort Seamus puts in on our behalf. Although a sponsor and supporter for many years, it was the effort he put in to make our 2008 dinner such a success both financially and socially that made the decision that much easier for the judges.
Adele Clark is pictured below with City Treasurer, Baillie Gordon Matheson who presented her with the Young Person of the Year Award at. Adele was actively involved in organsing the club's youth committee including being involved in drawing up the club's drug and alcohol policy and arranging an exchange with a youth group in Roscommon. Adele also plays for the ladies football team and coaches the under 10s at her former school, St.Mungo's Primary, in Townhead.
George Hay pictured below with guest of honour Tom Daly, President of the Ulster Council of the GAA, being presented with the coach of the year award. George got his award mainly for his team winning the Scottish Women's Shinty championship last year, but many nominated him for his tireless effort of bringing the players from a group of novices, there to make up the numbers, to becoming the best team in the country.