These are the 12 finalists for the 2019 Hunter Water Hunter Hero Award selected by Newcastle Herald readers from all the worthy nominees profiled each week of this year.
The winner will be announced by our judging panel at Newcastle Permanent's inaugural Christmas Under the Stars event, brought to you by the City of Newcastle and the Herald on Saturday night at King Edward Park.
Vicki and Brock Mendyk
Gillieston Heights' Vicki Mendyk raised $15,000 for Lifeline's face-to-face counselling services after losing her husband and daughter to suicide. Mrs Mendyk and her son Brock want to ensure locals have a space to share their feelings.
Olivia Hughes, 13, has put on monthly craft workshops at Ronald McDonald House ever since losing her friend to cancer three years ago. The volunteer surf lifesaver also helps run Nippers and Little Rippaz each week at Nobbys.
Bar Beach's Michelle Faithfull has raised $175,000 for charities over 10 years. She began participating in grueling fundraising treks and now volunteers to lead treks for charities all over the world.
Melanie-Bree Watts and Prue Hurt
This pair of neonatal intensive care nurses founded an annual "Babies Ball" that has now raised $130k to improve care for babies who enter their ward.
Luke Alexander, Ben Hamilton, Kelsey Moss, Dan Byatt and Duncan Sandie
This group of friends walked overnight to Central Coast Stadium to raise money for their mate's treatment after he was involved in a life-changing accident.
Ms Crockett's son has inspired her to search for a cure to Prader-Willi Syndrome. She coordinated a national fundraiser this year for research into the rarely-discussed disorder.
Ms Henshaw (right), the co-founder of mental health group Another Sunrise, ran a marathon on the Great Wall of China to raise money for suicide prevention.
Lake Macquarie's Citizen of the Year is involved in Morisset High School P&C, Southlake Marketplace, Community Hair Project and the area's Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.
Jeanette Lacey helped found Newcastle's Compassionate Communities group to increase the capacity of residents to care for each other, especially during times of mourning.
Mr Swift (left) received a Commendation for Brave Conduct after rescuing three children in a petrol station fire at New Lambton.
This Lochinvar Kerrie Turner (right) local raised almost $10,000 for breast cancer research on behalf of her friend of 15 years, who was diagnosed with the disease, by hosting a fabulous event.
Builder and volunteer surf lifesaver Joshua Dick spends many of his weekends patrolling Newcastle's coastline on jet ski and acting as one of the region's duty officers.
Lifeline: 13 11 14