By Bejay Browne
TWENTY three adults and 13 children have been nominated for this year’s Paphos Hearts of Gold award.
“This year’s award is particularly poignant in the wake of what’s been happening in Paphos lately. People need to feel good again and now it’s a time to celebrate the kind, compassionate and dedicated people in the community and thank them. We are very lucky that there are so many wonderful children and adults living in the district,” a spokesman for the award, now in its eighth year, told the Cyprus Mail.
All of the nominees have been invited to attend the ceremony, which will take place at Palia Ilektriki cultural centre in Paphos on Friday at midday. The awards will be announced and presented by the Patron, artistic director of Pafos 2017 Marios Joannou Elia.
British Vice Consul, Christina Smith and president of the Paphos municipality social welfare committee Maria Zavrou will also be presenting certificates.
The community-based award aims to recognise those who have worked tirelessly within the community or for charities, overcome tragedies with a smile, shown tremendous courage, strength and determination, or simply been a great help and support to neighbours and friends. It is open to everyone who is a resident of Paphos, of all ages and nationalities.
Successful nominees will be presented with their solid gold handmade heart – created and donated every year by Aphrodite Jeweller’s – winner’s certificate and a bouquet of flowers. This year the adult winner will also receive a two night stay and dinner at the luxury Almyra Hotel.
There are two categories: the Junior Heart of Gold award for those under 18, and the Heart of Gold award for adults.
In the junior section this year are: George Michaelides,11, Iordanis Demetrof (Dani), 3, Savvas Surailides, 16, Katerina Konstantinou, 8, Georgina Moakler, 11, Cameron Moakler, 13, Archie Habgood, 7, Rachel Parr, 15, Varvara Tikanova, 6, Nina Christoudoulou, 16, Zoe Dhull, 1 year 5 months, Jasmitha Marharaja Singh, 14, and Rosalia Ashiotis,16.
The youngsters either help local charities, cope with serious illness, or have shown tremendous courage, determination and spirit.
In the adult section nominees include: Michele Cook for her ongoing work with the British Guides, Brownies and Rainbow units which she also set up in Paphos; Brenda Backhouse, as the team leader of the ‘hospital and clinic visitors of Paphos’ and for her work with The Stroke Association; Graham Brown for his outstanding achievements with the Cyprus Kidney Association (Ex-Pats); John Moir for always helping others and being a good friend.
Sue Young has been put forward for her efforts in running the Friends Hospice charity shop in Polis; Jakov Bouinak-Tarasov for being a supportive and loving father and husband through tough times; Ann Young for her ongoing support of animals in need and Terry Lupson, as the ex chairman of the Cyprus kidney ex-pats for all of his efforts for the renal unit.
Gaynor Georgiou has been nominated for her love and care of Paphos stray cats; Cynthia Smith for her ongoing work and support of animal welfare; Marina Fylactou for her outstanding commitment to children and adults with autism; Julian Bukland for his fundraising efforts; Tom Handley for his ongoing work with the Cancer patients support group and Afroula Chrisostomou president of the Women of Paphos Association, for her unwavering support of needy children and adults of Paphos
The Zingers are being considered for fundraising; Dawn Foote for her work with the Tala monastery cats; and Father Stylianos Sofokleous, for all of his efforts as president of the committee of the Margarita Liasidou Foundation.
Sally Unsworth has been put forward for her work with the Cyprus Samaritans and the Paphos Bereavement Support Group; Alan Mack for raising thousands for local charities; and the entire team of the Paphos cancer patients support group has also been nominated; along with Matthew Harris and Peter Hamilton of PAWS dog shelter for their care and dedication towards unwanted animals. The Friends hospice staff and volunteers have also been nominated.
The annual award is supported by the Paphos municipality social welfare committee, Aphrodite jewellers, Massiva printing, the Cyprus Mail, Paphos Post, Sunshine radio, the British High Commission, Almyra Hotel and James Walton media.