Unsung heroes celebrate historic Paralympic moment
PUBLISHED: 12:27 14 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:51 20 February 2013
Buckinghamshire's Big Ticket Giveaway pair at final celebration of London 2012
The final two unsung heroes of Buckinghamshire's Big Ticket Giveaway shared a moment in British history at the final celebration of the London 2012 Games - the Paralympic closing ceremony.
Deirdre Lay, from Latimer, near Chesham, and Leanne Kittel, of Dorney, caught the atmosphere with an 80,000-strong crowd at the Olympic Park on Sunday evening in an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.
They were hostedby Buckinghamshire County Council Chairman Marion Clayton, and Alan Walters, Chairman of South Bucks District Council, who are pictured with them, Leanne is on the right.
Deirdre Lay, a volunteer bereavement support worker, a Guide and a Brownie leader, and Leanne Kittel, a charity volunteer and fundraiser, and youth club organiser, were two of the top nominations in the Big Ticket Giveaway, run jointly by both councils with support from the county's newspapers.
Fresh from their historic experience, Deirdre said: 'I am privileged to have been selected for this once in a lifetime opportunity. The atmosphere was unbelievable and it was a wonderful, colourful and truly amazing evening.'
Leanne said: 'What an amazing end to an outstanding summer of Olympic and Paralympic sport, which I believe has truly inspired a generation! It was a privilege to have the opportunity to honour our outstanding Paralympians at what was for me the greatest sensory show on earth.'
Marion Clayton was delighted to play host. 'Our volunteers make such a huge difference to community life in Buckinghamshire, and the contribution that Deirdre and Leanne make is a great inspiration to everyone.'
Alan Walters said he counted it a privilege to play host. 'We had the pleasure ofthe company of two inspiring people, whose unsung voluntary service to our communities was a delight to honour in this way.'
The Big Ticket Giveaway was run earlier this year by the two host authorities, which had secured tickets for Games events at Dorney Lake, and the opening and closing Games ceremonies. The aim of the nomination campaign, run with support from the local press, was to award tickets to the most deserving residents of Buckinghamshire, who demonstrated the Olympic and Paralympic values.