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Raise a toast for highest award

A Gisborne woman with the gift of the gab is the toast of the public speaking world after receiving a top international award.

Helen Hunt from First City Toastmasters Gisborne was presented with a Distinguished Toastmaster award — the highest award that can be bestowed on a Toastmaster.

Toastmasters is a non-profit worldwide programme that develops and enhances public speaking, leadership and presentation skills.

Mrs Hunt’s award was flown to Gisborne from the United States.

Since Mrs Hunt first joined Toastmasters 20 years ago she has held all leadership roles on the committee and has been an area and division director.

She has also supported other clubs in Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty and organised a national Toastmasters conference, which provided the platform for New Zealand finalists to compete in four different competitions.

“There are none so precious as those who give and give without the expectation of receiving,” immediate past district director and fellow DTM award recipient Toni Sharp, QSM, said.

“The ubiquitous Helen Hunt epitomises this statement. Congratulations Helen on receiving this award,”

There are two Toastmasters clubs in Gisborne.

Eastland Toastmasters meets at Arohaina Resource Centre, 396 Aberdeen Road at 5.30pm every second and fourth Monday.

First City Toastmasters Gisborne meets at the Adult Literacy Centre, 100 Grey Street, at 6.30pm every second and fourth Tuesday.

Mrs Hunt and Toastmasters area director Dave Henderson are to start Gisborne Sunrise Toastmasters — a programme for business and corporate interests.

It will meet every first and third Tuesday of the month, with the first meeting on September 17 from 6.30am to 8am at McDonald’s McCafe.

Toastmasters top award - Dave Henderson (Area director toastmasters), Helen Hunt. Picture by Liam Clayton