By Parker McKenzie
Three Knox locals will receive $5,000 for their community organisations after being announced as Westfield Local Heroes 2022 finalists, with the winner receiving $20,000 for their chosen charitable cause.
The community recognition and grants program, now in its fifth year, highlights people community making a positive impact in their local community or on the environment. All the nominated finalists will receive a $5,000 grant for their organisation, with the public voting for the recipient of the $20,000 prize.
Kim Hallworth from Southern Cross Kids’ Camp Knox said she was overwhelmed after being announced as a finalist.
“I’m not expecting any sort of recognition at all,” she said.
“With Covid, it’s really been a struggle in terms of fundraising.”
Ms Hallworth was nominated for her 19 years of service in supporting at-risk children in the community through raising money, training volunteers and leading the five-day camp each year.
She said being the winner of the funding would mean the camp is almost completely covered financially for 2023.
“It is great Westfield is acknowledging different organisations in the community and highlighting them,” she said.
“Maybe somebody is thinking my foster child or someone could really benefit from this camp and they’ve been made aware of the opportunities in the community.”
Southern Cross Kids Camp is a registered charity providing children, many of whom are in foster care, the opportunity to experience a five-day camp to remember. The cost of the camp is around $500 a child.
The other two Knox nominees are Knox Young Citizen of the Year Sophie Ashdowne from Pichapoo, who was nominated for her time volunteering with the Bayswater-based personal hygiene charity, and Darren Hill from Rotary Club of Knox, who was nominated for his dedication to raising funds to support young people in the area.
Westfield Knox Manager Kirstin Nicholls said the local heroes program continues to recognise and acknowledge people who make a lasting impact in the local community.
“It’s with great pleasure that we announce our three 2022 finalists and encourage our community to vote and help us discover our 2022 hero.” she said.
Since the program was started in 2018, 600 community groups have shared a total of $61.4 million.
The voting period opened on Tuesday 2 August and closes on Monday 22 August, with the winner of the Knox areas local hero being announced on Tuesday 13 September.
To view the finalists and cast a vote, visit westfield.com.au/local-heroes