Cook off to buy shelter from storm

By Kiri Gillespie


Mystery professional chefs will be pitted against amateurs as part of a fundraiser for a piece of aid equipment that could be vital if a major disaster hits Tauranga.

Shelter Box is an international charity that provides aid and shelter in the form of a disaster relief box for people but at $1500 a pop, the Rotary Club of Tauranga Sunrise is fundraising for a set of Tauranga's own.

Club area commander Ron Fyfe said Shelter Box was not as well established as the Red Cross and other charities but it had a vital role when things went wrong.

"It gives hope to people. It gives shelter and dignity and in some cases it's lifesaving," Mr Fyfe said.

Each Shelter Box kit contains a 10-person tent, thermal fleece blankets, stove, cooking and water purification equipment, children's activity packs and more. The tents are designed to withstand the most extreme weather conditions, and should enable a family to live for at least six months while without normal shelter.

The boxes were used in the Christchurch earthquake, when thousands of people were displaced without power or water.

Mr Fyfe said the club aimed to fundraise enough money to buy at least one kit a year.

This would be the third time they had run the cook-off event, dubbed Kitchen Hell.

Simon Bridges was among the celebrities to cook a three-course meal alongside Rotary club members last year but identities of this year's guest judges remain a secret until the night.

Mr Fyfe said it was more fun that way, as diners could select their meals from different tables and rate each course as they progressed through dinner.

"The idea is that if nobody knows who the chefs are, you don't know who you are voting for.

"It will be interesting sorting the professional chefs from amateurs," Mr Fyfe said.

The event is already a sell-out, with 140 tickets sold.

The money from the event will be split between Shelter Box and The Cambodian Trust, where a display of the kit will be on offer at their Bethlehem Town Centre store earlier in the day.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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