Hunter Hero 2016: Time to cast your vote

A FAMOUS saying attributed to the Dalai Lama suggests that if one feels they are too small to make a difference, they should try sleeping with a mosquito.

The Hunter is full of mosquitoes, in more ways than one.

While it may have been another big year for bad news, the “mosquitoes” featured in this column over the past 12 months have brought some light to the shade.

These small people doing big things are the Hunter’s helpers. The Hunter’s heroes.

They do not do it for the accolades. They do it for the people they love and the vast and varied causes they support.

But each year the Newcastle Herald’s Hunter Water Hunter Hero Awards aim to shower praise on these hard working community members.

Hunter Water managing director Jim Bentley said there were countless local stories of bravery, selflessness and generosity to be shared.

“Hunter Hero is a weekly dose of inspiration and gives us an opportunity to publically recognise the efforts of those who selflessly give their time and energy to others,” he said.

“Hunter Water has supported Hunter Hero since its inception, and is proud to help the Newcastle Herald share stories of local people showing an extraordinary dedication to making our community a better place.”

The heroes profiled throughout the year have gone above and beyond to promote everything from cancer and health research, to mental health awareness, and disability services.

They have included people who have pushed their bodies to their limits to raise awareness – and funds – for worthwhile causes.

Others have organised charity balls, trivia nights, dinners, athletics events and sporting club fund-raisers while juggling work and family commitments.

Some have endured their own personal adversities, and come out the other side with renewed passion to help others facing similar circumstances. Some ensure the health and welfare of animals, and others have travelled to help people less fortunate.

Then there are those who have provided friendship and support to people in need of a helping hand and a warm smile.

Cast your vote via to choose which of these extraordinary people will be named finalists in the 2016 awards.

Up until Wednesday at 5pm, readers have the opportunity to vote. The finalists will be named next week.

Their efforts will be recognised, and the overall winner announced, at the Newcastle Herald Newcastle Permanent Carols by Candlelight at King Edward Park on December 16.