Two Benalla community programs from the same philanthropic group claimed success at the Victorian Sustainable Communities - Tidy Towns Awards.
Tomorrow Today Foundation's Connect9 mentoring program won the Social Well-Being Award while the Wanna Play but Can't Pay sports initiative took out the Community Award jointly with a Mornington Peninsula entry.
Dederang Primary School was a gift fund recipient for its project to fight school waste.
Connect9 encourages young people to experience new hobbies, people and sport while Wanna Play but Can't Pay supported more than 150 participants in 2019 by removing the financial barriers to being active.
Run by Keep Victoria Beautiful, the annual awards were announced at a virtual event in Beechworth on Saturday.
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Since starting in 1983 the Sustainable Communities - Tidy Towns Awards have gradually moved beyond just tidiness and instead recognise and celebrate positive actions taken by communities and individuals.
Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Town spokesman Dick Gross said he was impressed by the calibre and number of entries from across the state.
"Clearly the awards have acted as an antidote to the pandemic and provided our rural and regional communities with a sense of purpose and something to strive towards in what has been an extremely difficult year," he said.
Mr Gross said each year more than 20,000 people took part in the awards in some way.
"Ultimately, the awards don't just promote the remarkable projects happening across rural and regional Victoria, they also help promote tourism to these amazing communities," he said.