The Templeton Hotel played host to the ninth Antrim Community Excellence awards on Wednesday night.
With the possibility of this being the last awards night as a result of the merger of Antrim and Newtownabbey councils, Antrim Council pulled out all the stops to ensure it went out with a bang.
Two-hundred-and-sixty guests, including award nominees and local dignatories, were treated to a three-course meal and entertainment from David Meade, Cameoflage, and music from Andrea Begley, winner of the The Voice.
UTV’s Paul Clark compered the evening’s proceedings, which got underway with David Meade and his unique form of ‘mentalism’.
Following the meal, Andrea Begley performed, and told the audience of her delight at being invited to the awards.
Speaking to the Times before her performance, Andrea said it was great to see an event recognising work in the l ocal community.
“It’s great to have something which recognises what goes on, what’s happening in our own communities,” Andrea said.
Following Andrea’s performance, including her stunning performance of Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, which wowed the judges on The Voice, the awards were presented for both Antrim Council’s Chief Executive’s Making a Difference awards, which recognise council staff who have gone the extra mile, and the Antrim Community Excellence Awards.
Judges had the hard task whittling down the nominees, with over 40 people shortlisted for the awards.
Out-going Mayor of Antrim, Councillor Roderick Swann commented: “Over the past nine years, the awards have grown in popularity and we’ve received some amazing nominations.
“Of course, this makes the task of the assessment panel very challenging. So, I’d like to thank the members of the Resources sub-committee for their commitment to ensuring that the finalists represent the very best in our Council area.
“There’s no doubt that our community nominees make a positive impact on the lives of others in our local community.
“What is most inspiring is that many of the people nominated don’t seek public acknowledgement for their efforts and they often go unnoticed.”