A packed conference room at The Three Swans Hotel in Harborough last night gave an impromptu standing ovation after the overall Pride in Harborough winner’s name was announced.
There were even a few grown men even with a tear in their eye as brave little girl Madison Brooks received the Choice Award from main sponsors Market Harborough Building Society.
Maddie, who earlier in the night had scooped the Young Achiever Award, has shown sheer determination in the face of her life-limiting illness.
She is a happy and brave girl who has to go to hospital at least every month, yet she goes to the Harborough gymnastics club, smiling and never complains.
She has a tracheostomy and tries so hard not to let it get in her way when exercising. She also has to have a wheelchair because she tires more easily.
But even with this, she never stops amazing her coaches with her happy outlook and sheer determination.
There were ten other awards given out on the night and each winner and finalist was invited onto the stage to receive their certificate or trophy.
Host for the night, the Mail’s deputy editor Alex Blackwell, said today: “It was a great night which celebrated all that is good about the Harborough district. There were plenty of inspirational stories and a real sense of community.
“We would like to thank our sponsors, who make the event possible, The host venue The Three Swans, all those who attended and nominated people, the Mail’s events team for organising everything and, of course, all the finalists, for the great, often unheralded work, that they do.”
The event is organised by the Harborough Mail and Lutterworth Mail and is now in its sixth year.
Below is a list of all the winners and finalists from last night:
*Young Achiever of the Year (sponsored by Market Harborough Building Society)
WINNER: Madison Brooks
Finalists: Cameron Twynham, Matthew Chilvers, Jayne Burnside, Tiffany Ryan and Charlotte Wheeliker.
*Raising the Profile of the Town (sponsored by The Angel Hotel)
WINNER: Cameron Twynham
Finalists: Harborough FM, Frances Quinn and Dave & Helen Allen.
*Inspire a Generation (sponsored by The Three Swans Hotel)
WINNERS: Market Harborough Sea Cadets
Finalists: Lutterworth Sports Centre’s teachers, Phillipa Hill and Matthew Chilvers.
*Fundraiser of the Year (sponsored by Nomad)
WINNER: Alan Savill
Finalists: Dave & Helen Allen, Chris Jones from Harborough FM, Emily Woodbridge and The Squires Effect.
*Service with a Smile (sponsored by Adams & Jones)
WINNERS: Archway House Natural Health Centre
Finalists: Caffe Nero staff, Paws 4 Walking, Lutterworth Swim, Phillipa Hill, Natasha Kelly, Kayleigh Bromley and Zac Burningham.
*Excellence in Education (sponsored by Stanair Industrial Door Services)
WINNERS: Robert Smyth Academy
Finalists: Lutterworth Swim and Phillipa Hill.
*Friendly Neighbour (sponsored by Seven Locks Housing)
WINNER: Merle Clamp
*Care in the Community (sponsored by Waitrose)
WINNERS: Steve and Jean Kendall
Finalists: Elaine Foote, Paws 4 Walking and Rhiann Roberts.
*Community Investment Award (sponsored by Spire Homes Longhurst Group)
WINNER: Elaine Foote
Finalists: Lutterworth Swim, Phillipa Hill, Chris Jones and Alan Savill.
*Unsung Hero or Heroine Award (sponsored by CDS Global)
JOINT WINNERS: Dave & Helen Allen and Paws 4 Walking
Finalists: Kayleigh Bromley and Gary Tidmarsh.
See next week’s Mail (Thursday, April 17) for our picture spread from the night. A video will also be uploaded to our website in the coming days.
For a slideshow of pictures from last night taken from the Mail’s long-time snapper Andrew Carpenter, click on the link here Pride in Harborough Slideshow.
Story by Alex Blackwell
Follow Alex on Twitter, @BlackwellHarb.