Hills night walk fundraiser for cancer foundation

By Kiri Gillespie

A woman whose twin died from breast cancer is finally able to take part in a fundraising night walk created in memory of her sister.

Judy Claughton will be among more than 200 people taking part in this year's Papamoa Hills Night Walk, organised by daughter Tui Hambrook and fellow organiser Clare Worden three years ago.

Ms Claughton now lives in Papamoa after living in Te Aroha to care for her twin Jan Chapman, who died in 2007. She said the walk would be a special event.

"I'm really excited about it. I'm really proud of Tui and Clare doing this and to start this up. I think it's such an important event for an important reason," she said.

Ms Claughton will be joined by friends she worked with in Te Aroha and another daughter coming down from Whitianga for the event.

The walk began as a different take on a fundraising drive for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation that encouraged "girls' night in" events.

Mrs Hambrook said she and Ms Worden were much more "outdoors" and held a trail walk event in 2010 that attracted 35 people. The next year the walk grew to 120 people and this year the number of people taking part was already more than 200 - not including sponsors or friends twisting arms.

"It was like two and a bit weeks after we announced it and it sold out," Mrs Hambrook said.

The walk begins at the carpark on Poplar Lane and treks through forest and farmland to the summit of Papamoa Hills Culture and Heritage Park before winding down at Summerhill Recreation Trails with a coffee cart and food.

Mrs Hambrook said small groups would have staggered departure times. "It's supposed to be adventurous. When you are walking up there, it's like you are in this bubble. You can see the city and it's so beautiful. If you have 1000 people with you, it sort of takes the adventure element from it."

Mrs Hambrook said she wanted to get involved after learning her aunt had breast cancer. Having her mum taking part for the first time meant this year's walk was especially poignant, she said. "I think Aunty Jan was the type of person who would have approved of doing something nice for other people and from feedback I've heard, people bring a personal touch with cancer with them. But also it's beautiful and it's an adventure. It's so peaceful and tranquil."

Search and Rescue volunteers will be on hand to ensure safety.


  • The Papamoa Hills Night Walk is on August 31 with waves of walkers leaving from 6pm.

  • Entry is $15 per walker with all profits going to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Anyone who would like to express their interest is encouraged to contact organisers via the Papamoa Hills Night Walk Facebook page.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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