Flood of entries for Pride of Isle Awards

(l-r) Jackie Keeber, Kim Williams, Leesa Sharpe, Maxine Strong, Paula Wood and Lesley Henderson, all of Epworth, who took part in the Race for Life all wearing wedding dresses. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Jackie Keeber, Kim Williams, Leesa Sharpe, Maxine Strong, Paula Wood and Lesley Henderson, all of Epworth, who took part in the Race for Life all wearing wedding dresses. Picture: Andrew Roe

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A first awards ceremony to honour the Isle’s most special people has attracted a mass of nominations.

The Pride of the Isle Awards will celebrate special and amazing people, in memory of the late Alexander Strong of Epworth who died of a rare form of cancer last year, and in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. A presentation evening takes place on January 25 - the first anniversary of Lexy’s death.

Alexander Strong

Alexander Strong

Organiser Leesa Sharpe, of Sunspot, Epworth, said: “We have had over 100 nominations, on forms and then by text, after we introduced that method.

“There are all sorts of people and situations who have been put forward, of all ages, with some humbling stories. No-one will know who the winners are until the presentation, when the judges’ panel will reveal all.”

She added: “I am very, very happy with people’s response to the awards. We have a fantastic selection of nominations to work through. However, the deadline for entries was Christmas Day so nominations are now closed.

“A few tickets for the presentation evening may be available but I would advise anyone still wanting to go to get in touch with me very quickly,”

Judging takes place on January 6 and among the five judges will be Lexy’s mum, Maxine Strong, who said: “It’s a lovely idea and I’m pleased to be part of it all. I’m sure it will be an emotional evening on January 25 when the winners are announced.”

The black tie event, to take place at Epworth Leisure Centre, promises to be a magical evening, said Leesa, with entertainment from band The Torn as well as hot and cold buffet.

Lexy’s favourite Star Wars characters will be there to meet and greet guests as they walk on the green carpet (Lexy’s favourite colour) and as a stage presence when announcements are made.

“There are nine separate categories that hopefully cover every type of nomination. We hope the awards will be an annual event in the future,” said Leesa.

Typically, nominations that have flooded in from all across the Isle have included those who have dealt with long or difficult illness with strength and fortitude, those who have done exemplary work in fundraising or supporting good causes in some other way, or those who are inspirational by behaviour or example.

Lexy Strong was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in late 2009. His courage and sunny nature endeared him to everyone, and fund money raised in the hope of finding him alternative treatments is to be awarded to help other families with children suffering from the same condition.

Anyone seeking to buy last minute tickets for the presentation evening should contact Leesa at Sunspot, Station Road, Epworth, or email her on leesa@sunspot-tanning.co.uk