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Celebrating 20 years of AIMES Awards

Celebrating 20 years of AIMES Awards

North Harbour Club Charitable Trust celebrates 20 years of recognising and rewarding excellence of the region’s youth at this year’s AIMES awards which will be held on the 13th November at the Langham Hotel in Auckland City.

The black tie awards ceremony is the highlight event of the year, with this year’s event likely to attract a guest audience at the gala event of around 600.

AIMES Awards applications are also at an all-time record with 187 received – more than double the previous highest.

Established in 1995, North Harbour Club has grown from around 30 Shore based business leaders to a membership of 160 influential members of the North Shore/Harbour business community. Club President Aidan Bennett says this is testament to the business growth of the shore and the commitment local business leaders have in supporting their own community.

The ethos of the Club has been to ‘do good having a good time’, with a strong focus on networking functions and in sharing expertise amongst members who include education to medicine, sports and business professionals.

The region’s youth are the recipients of the Club’s mandate and by the end of 2015, over $1.8 million worth of grants will have been made to North Harbour youth (aged 13-25) who are achieving excellence in their chosen field.

Jan Dawson, Chair of Westpac NZ, Deputy Chair of Air New Zealand, board member of Meridian Energy, Beca Group and AIG Insurance is a long time member of North Harbour Club and one of the seven AIMES award judges.

Looking forward to this year’s awards, Dawson says “This is a task that I look forward to annually and is always one of the highlight’s of my year. Witnessing first hand the achievements of outstanding young people is very heartwarming. The fact that the North Harbour Club helps them to recognise their potential and has been doing so for so long is a real credit to the founders. Twenty years on, the programme is stronger than ever.”

The AIMES 2014 Arts Award and Supreme Award Winner who received a $25,000 cash prize to pursue his craft was Ben Sanders. A Long Bay College graduate in the class of 2007, Sanders is the author of three crime novels published by Harper Collins New Zealand. In 2013 Sanders was the AIMES recipient of the Emerging Talent Award for which he received $5000, enabling him to travel to the United States to meet with MacMillan Publishers in New York. Sanders has signed a contract with MacMillan to wrote two US set novels and has since had movie rights options on two of his books by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Impressively, Sanders wrote all three novels whilst studying civil engineering at the University of Auckland where he has since graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering with Frist Class Honours and was named on the Deans Honours List.

Commenting on the support received from North Harbour Club, Sanders says, “The grants and support I have received from North Harbour Club and the members have been huge for me. The money is obviously a big part in helping me fulfill my ambitions as an author, but so to is the support and encouragement I have received now for many years from Club members.”


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