High heels and classic wheels on show

By Sonya Bateson

Classic cars and 1950s pin-up beauties were a successful combination at Tauranga's inaugural Organ Donor Awareness Car Show.

About 3500 people donated a gold coin to vote for their favourite classic cars on Saturday and watch the pin-up girls' competition, judged by top New Zealand fashion designer Trelise Cooper.

Organiser and lung transplant recipient Danny Saunders said the event raised about $4600 for Organ Donation New Zealand.

"It was just a great day, the pin-up competition was probably the highlight of the day. All the girls were happy and there were great prizes."

A $1200 travel voucher was given to the owner of a Volkswagen in a random prize draw and one of the pin-up girls also took home a $1000 voucher for a holiday in Rotorua.

The top five cars were determined by public vote and each owner was given a trophy. There were also prizes for the sponsors' choice and the mayor's choice.

Mr Saunders hoped to hold the event annually, with proceeds going to a different charity each year.

"I'd like to do Organ Donation NZ every two or three years but there are also a lot of charities out there who are under promoted. While I'm breathing, I'll be trying to do something for them."

Organ Donation NZ spokesperson Melanie Stevenson said the 150 cars involved attracted large crowds to The Strand.

Eighteen girls from all over the North Island entered the pin-up competition, won by Rotorua's Monique McLennan, 24.

"The whole point of the event was to raise awareness for organ donation and encourage people to talk about their wishes to their families. I loved it, it was great to see the pin-up ladies, they were beautiful. It was amazing that Trelise Cooper came down and supported the day."

A lot of people had been interested in the Organ Donation NZ stall, Ms Stevenson said.

"We gave away more than 200 T-shirts and talked to a lot of people about organ donation."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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