Morecambe’s unsung heroes have been honoured at The Visitor’s annual Sunshine Ball.
Awards were given out to a lollipop lady, a veteran cricket coach, a Christian charity and a professional wrestling promoter at The Visitor’s annual Sunshine Awards at the Midland Hotel.
Visitor readers voted for the winners in four categories.
Barbara Mortensen, who has helped children at Poulton-le-Sands primary school cross the road for 20 years, was a popular winner of the Unsung Hero award.
Frank Wilkinson, a cricket coach for juniors at Morecambe Cricket Club for 40 years, beat Morecambe Ladies football team and darts star Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall to take the Sport award.
West End Impact, a charity on Heysham Road which helps troubled local people, won the Community Group award ahead of staff at the Welcome Cafe in the Arndale Centre and volunteers at Galloway’s Society for the Blind.
And readers voted for Kieran Engelke, flamboyant wrestling promoter at the Winter Gardens in Morecambe, to win the Entertainment award. Runners up were vintage festival organiser Wayne Hemingway and Morecambe Carnival organisers David and Carla Brayshaw.
Also at the ball on Friday night, two other awards were determined by The Visitor editorial team.
Teenage British Champion biathlete Georgia Hannam was honoured with the Young Person award, and Gerry’s Fishing Tackle won a closely-fought Business Award, edging Lingwood Security and the Royal Bar.
The Sunshine Ball organising committee also voted for Morecambe Football Club to pick up the Ambassador award. This was accepted by club scout Dickie Danson.
A sold-out 130 guests attended the ball, which began with a series of songs by St John’s Hospice choir.
Morecambe entertainer Stuart Michaels provided music and the ball was hosted by The Visitor content editor Greg Lambert.
The event was sponsored by Wright and Lord solicitors. Award sponsors were Costain, Opus North, Ascentis, Specsavers and the Arndale Centre.
Funds were raised at the ball for the ‘Morecambe Gets Wise’ appeal for a new Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise-themed attraction in Morecambe - a giant piece of wall art of the comedy duo housed in a new ‘Sunshine Garden of Fame’ opposite the Winter Gardens.
Early estimates are that the raffle and auction raised around £2,500 for the cause.
Full results of the voting and pictures in this week’s Visitor.