Clarkston’s local Business Improvement District (BID) held the first annual I Love Clarkston Community Awards, sponsored by East Renfrewshire Council, on Friday.
A total of seven main categories were awarded a winner and runner up prize – as well as a very special, unannounced ‘Heart of Clarkston’ Award.
The sold-out night celebrated the great individuals, organisations and businesses of the town, with members of the public invited to put forward nominations in the months leading up to the big night, before an independent panel anonymously judged the categories to ensure a fair and unbiased outcome.
Guests were invited along the red-carpet entrance, with a paparazzi-style greeting, before being treated to a three-course meal.
The night was kicked off by Pulse FM breakfast hosts Gus & Tayler, taking the waiting crowd through the finalists in each category, before the sponsors took to the stage to announce each runner-up and winner.
There was also a special moment in the middle of the night when BID manager Andy Dunlop took to the stage to explain the reasoning behind the re-naming of the Clarkston young Person of the Year Award.
Andy said: “During the nomination process we suddenly saw an influx of nominations – over 100 in fact – for one person in particular, and upon reading these we knew we were reading the story of someone very special.
“Kyle Bremner had been nominated by friends, family, teachers and many more members of the Clarkston community.
“It was clear he and his story had touched a lot of people, so it was an easy decision for the organising committee to change the name of the award, and I’m very happy to have the support of Kyle’s family in naming this award and we hope this can inspire young people for many years to come.”
Before handing the stage over to Eleanor Dale, Kyle’s grandmother, who was due to present the Kyle Bremner Award, Andy announced that due to his hard-work, courage, warm-spirit and unbelievable drive – having raised tens of thousands of pounds for a number of charities and inspired countless others to get involved – Kyle Bremner was to be the first ever recipient of the ‘Heart of Clarkston’ award, as chosen by members of the I Love Clarkston organising committee.
Allison McHarg and Debbie Scott, BID committee members and owners of Swanson Sports, who sponsored the Kyle Bremner Award, added: “We have children who attended Williamwood High with Kyle, so the story hit very close to home and to see someone so young be so strong, through losing a parent, fighting against his own illness and continuing to raise thousands of pounds for various charities right up until the end of his life was truly inspiring.
“It was only right that we recognised that tonight.”
After the awards portion of the event was over, the prize raffle took place, offering tickets to live music events, £100 vouchers for local businesses and much more.
The raffle raised more than £750, all of which will be donated to Meningitis Now, which is one of the charities Kyle Bremner raised funds for.
After the event, BID chair John Paul Reilly said: “We’re very happy to see how well the night has went.
“It’s been great to see such a cross section of the community in attendance and be recognised for their hard work.”
“We’re committed to this becoming an annual event and are in discussions to confirm a date for the 2020 event already.
“We can’t wait to see what next year brings.”
Andy Dunlop added: “We must thank everyone who helped make this event a success – the BID committee, all BID businesses, our judging panelists, all of our sponsors, the Redhurst Hotel, Pulse FM, our entertainment, photographer, videographer and all of the team who helped out on the night.”
The I Love Clarkston Award winners:
· Inspirational Leader, sponsored by JPR Bathrooms, Runner Up – Chris McKenna (Williamwood High School) Winner – Claire Murray (Anytime Fitness).
• Customer Service Star, sponsored by Anytime Fitness, Runner Up – Jane Watt (Café Roma) Winner – Pamela Coulter (Lloyds Pharmacy).
• Community Group of the Year, sponsored by Bluebird Care, Runner Up – Clarkston Community Choir Winner – Carolside Sports Club.
• Heart of Clarkston Award Winner – Kyle Bremner.
• The Kyle Bremner Award for Young Person of the Year, sponsored by Swanson Sports, Runner Up – Michael Sinclair Winner – Abby Turnbull.
• National Business of the Year, as voted for by members of the public, Runner Up – Anytime Fitness Winner – Bluebird Care.
• Independent Business of the Year, sponsored by Business Gateway East Ren, Runner Up – Dandy’s Delicatessan Winner – Distinction Health & Beauty.
• Clarkston Community Champion, sponsored by East Renfrewshire Council, Runner Up – Russell Macmillan (East Renfrewshire Good Causes)
Winner – Iain Winters (Carolside Primary School Lollipop Man).