THERE were stars glittering all over the backdrop and stars aplenty through the room.
And the 16th Examiner Community Awards proved yet again what a wonderful range of deserving people there are in this town.
The nominees who packed into the John Smith’s Stadium with their friends and families were involved in some truly heartwarming stories; stories of courage, of selfless commitment; and of unstinting devotion to worthy causes.
There were plenty of tears and of laughter as the award nominees were honoured by the audience at the event, sponsored by Syngenta.
But there was special praise for the main winners of the night in the shape of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
They were awarded the Achievement Award and earned rapturous applause from the audience.
The helicopter crews have been responsible for many lifesaving missions in Huddersfield, saving young and old alike.
And in return they have earned massive support from the people of the town, who have raised well over £1m to keep the aircraft in the air.
Fittingly, they collected the award at the Stadium, home of Huddersfield Town who have backed the Air Ambulance as their chosen charity and supported in through bike rides and walks.
The audience heard the heartwarming tale of the Air Ambulance rescue of Scapegoat Hill youngster Harry Nattress, who was terribly injured in an accident but made a full recovery and was back to his favourite pastime of football.
It was, said Air Ambulance director of fundraising Paul Gowland, a “privilege” to be in Huddersfield on such a night - and to hear Harry was well.
“We are lucky in that here in Huddersfield we have had the marvellous support of the Examiner for 15 years and a tremendous amount of support from the community.
“The media is the oxygen of publicity for charities and we need that. We at the Air Ambulance have come a long way in that time but there is a long way to go.
“People may be surprised to learn there are only four trauma centres in the region for serious injuries, in Middlesborough, Hull, Sheffield and Leeds, and in between them is an awful lot of roads to cover. Imagine transporting patients through York or Ripon races, or when Huddersfield Town play at home..
“We get something iike 40%,of our workload from road incidents, many of them on the M62, and that is very relevant to people in Huddersfield.
“We are lucky that in this area we have some beautiful countryside, but that brings problems in its remoteness. There is a lot of work for the Air Ambulance to do.
“We get fantastic support from the likes of Town and so many other groups in this town.
“There are 4.4m people in the region and if every person gave £1 a year, we would meet our targets”.
TV newsreader Nina Hossain, who was back in her home town to host the awards, said: “It’s fantastic be be back in Huddersfield on a sunny evening to play a small part in what is your big night.
“The courage, devotion and altruism of this community astonishes me and will no doubt astonish you all”.
Examiner editor Roy Wright said: “When we started these awards in 2000, we never imagined how much they would become such a major event and one of the best night’s in Huddersfield’s calendar.
““No matter who wins, they are all winners”..
The eveniing was again backed by Syngenta and the company’s Carl Sykes admitted he was almost “speechless” on hearing some of the stories of the awards nominees.
“It has been another tremendous evening.
“It must have been very hard for the judges to pick winners but everyone in this room should be proud to be associated with the community awards”.