VOTING opened at the Moray and Banffshire Heroes Awards.
There are 12 categories and the winners will be revealed on Thursday 20th April at Brodie Countryfare.
A special Champion of Champions will also be announced that night.
You have until March 26th to cast your vote.
From 9am on Tuesday 7th March, you can go to www.hnmedia.co.uk/morayheroes/ to support your favourites.
The nominees for this year’s fundraising category are liver charity advocate Audrey Cameron, Ashley Meyer, operator of Buckie’s Children’s Bank, and Keith’s community advocate Ronna Patterson.
Audrey Cameron helped set up the Lina Liver charity support group, which provides companions to other people who have had transplants.
The charity has been a huge success, starting with two friends and growing into a network of 10 supporting people from Stonehaven to Buckie.
Audrey’s nomination said: “Audrey has organized and participated in many ceremonies and fundraisers in 2022 despite her failing liver.
“Audrey is a hero who helps others as a friend even though she is not feeling well.”
The charity has raised around £6,000 annually since its inception.
Audrey felt humbled to be on the shortlist:
“I was very surprised.
“I never thought anyone would recommend me for that.
“It’s part of my daily life to help people and I want people to get the best out of them.”
When Ashley Hepburn-Meyer, owners of Buckie Stores, realized the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on families in her community, she knew she had to help.
Ashley, who runs TooCute children’s clothing in town, decided to create a children’s center in the store, where people could get pre-loved baby essentials.
The children’s center has only been in operation for a few months but has become invaluable to families in Buckie struggling with the high cost of living.
“I’ve noticed how difficult things are.
“A baby shop, I thought: ‘How can I do something to help?'” “
“So I started collecting baby items that are already beloved by people, mainly clothes but we also deal with strollers and high chairs – everything baby related really.
“I created a Facebook page a few months ago and it went from there.
People immediately started handing in donations, liking and sharing the page.
“I was in a position to help out a bit so I went for it.
“It was a really positive thing but it’s sad that people would be in that situation if they had to use baby banks.”
“I’m just shocked and happy! Confused to pieces.
“I didn’t expect that at all.”
One nomination read: “Despite being busy raising her children and running a busy store, she spends many hours each day fundraising and soliciting donations for her children’s centre.
She raises thousands of pounds every year for Murray’s charities: she does raffles, bingo, money boxes and holds a ladies’ day.
“Ashley deserves to be nominated for this tireless fundraiser.”
hona Patterson’s dedication to the community of Keith and Strathisla over the years has been impressive.
One nomination said: “Rona really goes above and beyond and there aren’t many people in Keith who haven’t benefited from her help.
“Rona has changed her life without even knowing it. She is amazing.”
Despite her full-time role as owner and editor of a lifestyle magazine, Rona devotes much of any spare time to her.
From helping to run the Longmore Community Hall, being a member of the Keith Show Committee and the Newmill Christmas Lights Committee, to chairing the Newmill Community Association.
She is also Chair of the Keith and Strathisla Regeneration Partnership, and runs the inKeith Program to help support local businesses and organisations.
She said: “It’s good to do things that will have a long-term impact.
Most of what has been accomplished will have long-term benefits for society.
“There’s more to it than me. I just help out any group I can.”
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