For the second year running, a Raglan local has taken the top award at this year’s Volunteering Waikato Volunteer Excellence Awards held in Hamilton on Friday night.

Rodger Gallagher, who was nominated by the Raglan Community Arts Council for his leadership and contribution to the Old School Arts Centre, said he was surprised at receiving the Volunteer of the Year award.

“There were nine people nominated [for the award]… Since Bob McLeod won last year, I thought my chances were slim,” he said.

The awards, which showed recognition for volunteers throughout the Waikato region, invited nominations for three main awards – individual, youth and team volunteers.

Raglan Community Arts Council member Jean Carbon said the nomination for Mr Gallagher, who has volunteered with the Old School Art Centre since 2003, was made because of the hundreds of hours Mr Gallagher given to the centre.
“He’s just been so giving, he gives so much of his time.

“I perceive it has never been about monetary gain [for Mr Gallagher], and I’m hoping our community can see that,” Jean said.

She said his voluntary contribution to the community stretched further afield than the Old School Arts Centre.

“He’s also been really positive about the radio station [Raglan Community Radio] and preparing to challenge the council about important community issues.”

Jean, who was present at the awards ceremony last Friday, said his reaction when he won the award was worthwhile.
“I was watching his face, he was really chuffed.”

Marcia Ahern