The City of Logan is packed with volunteers and a small percentage of them attended this years Volunteers Awards Breakfast hosted by Logan City Council.

The event saw close to 400 volunteers and guests come together for a sit-down breakfast which included special guest Denise Drysdale perform a bit of comedy. Ms Drysdale was able to get Mayor Darren Power on stage to sing with her. It is lucky for everyone’s ears he is the Mayor and not in entertainment.

The nominees for the awards were strong this year and the judging panel had a tough time deciding on the eventual winners.

Mr Harrison-Kyte is the president of Club Beenleigh and the winner of City of Logan’s 2021 Frank Lenz Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Peter Harrison-Kyte is described by his peers as someone for whom service to others is simply second nature.

Mr Harrison-Kyte, 73, spends about 40 hours a week volunteering in the Beenleigh community.

Over the years, he has contributed tirelessly to organisations including the Beenleigh RSL – where he spent 10 years as President – Beenleigh Cricket Club, Dauth Park Tennis Club, Beenleigh Sports & Community Club and Beenleigh Buffaloes AFC.

Service to others was also a focus of Mr Harrison-Kyte’s working life.

He was a decorated Queensland police officer, and later, a leading seaman in the Royal Australian Navy.

Among his proudest of achievements was creating the Beenleigh Veterans & Ex- Services Club to assist servicemen and women.

A special focus of the organisation is aiding those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Club Beenleigh vice president Mark Ellis painted a telling picture of his close friend and colleague in his award nomination.

“It is almost impossible to accurately measure the impact Pete has had on the community – mainly because he does so much work behind the scenes and with very little fanfare,” Mr Ellis wrote.

“The results of his efforts span far and wide – well past the veterans, retired police, AFL, cricket and tennis clubs he supports so strongly.

“(Peter) has dedicated his entire life to the community.”

The Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF) in Woodridge was also lauded at the breakfast event, receiving the Davida Steele Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Organisation.

MCF funds local projects that include supplying food for the homeless and promoting and providing activities for disengaged youth.

It has provided food and hampers to organisations including the Red Cross and the Romero Centre, as well as to domestic violence victims and those recently released from prison.

It also commits to paying the rent and utility bills, medical bills and water bills for many refugees or students who have lost their income.

Melanie McKenzie, of New Beith, was awarded the Spirit of Logan award for her efforts with her self-founded charity, Harrison’s Little Wings.

Ms McKenzie is dedicated to supporting those who have suffered the loss of a child, stillbirth or pregnancy loss, after the tragic death of her own son.

The charity faced several practical challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but Melanie’s determination to continue meant the charity is now assisting even more women and their families.

Melanie McKenzie and Mayor Darren Power

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power said this year’s volunteering award winners were an inspiration for the entire community.

“It is a privilege and an honour to have been able to thank our hard-working volunteers for their tireless efforts,” Cr Power said.

“Our volunteers go above and beyond for our communities each and every day and without them, so many needs would go unmet.

“Yet again this year, we owe our volunteers an immense debt of gratitude.

“I congratulate all of our award winners, and our nominees, on a job very well done.”

While not everyone can be a winner, everyone who volunteers is already a champion. The biggest winner of all is the City of Logan and the residents who are very lucky to have so many helping hands.

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