Christmas Cheer Appeal off to great start with generous early donations

By Roger Moroney

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Napier Mayor Bill Dalton hands over a cheque to Catherine Hancock from Napier Host Lions. Photo / Warren Buckland
Napier Mayor Bill Dalton hands over a cheque to Catherine Hancock from Napier Host Lions. Photo / Warren Buckland

Four days into the 2016 Christmas Cheer Appeal and the community response has been as bright and warming as the early summer weather, with several annual contributors again stepping up.

"Both the Napier and Taradale RSAs have always come on board which is really great," Napier appeal co-ordinator Renske Speekenbrink said.

Last year the Napier RSA gave the appeal a $1400 donation and this year extended that to a round $2000 - a great early boost.

Meanwhile, the Taradale RSA also stepped up with a $500 donation.

The community spirit was also very much to the fore with the St Columba's Presbyterian Church Two Fold Opportunity Shop coming through with a great $500 donation, and that figure was also matched by the Napier Host Lions Club which has been a long-time supporter of the annual appeal.

Club president Catherine Hancock responded practically overnight to one of the around 200 letters sent out by Napier Mayor Bill Dalton to social organisations and businesses seeking support for the appeal.

As Mrs Hancock worked at the council Ms Speekenbrink passed the letter on rather than mail it and the following day the $500 donation was a done deal.

Mayor Dalton also stepped up with he and wife Shirley making a $250 contribution to the appeal, which they had also done last year.

"Hawke's Bay is on a roll and it is pretty prosperous out there with a lot of people making good money - but a lot of people are still in struggle street," Mr Dalton said.

"I would like to see people step up and give generously to this appeal."

Ms Hancock said the Christmas Cheer Appeal was one of several community fundraising targets for Napier Host Lions.

"And this one helps so many people."

On the gift front there was plenty of Christmas spirit and colour provided by Flo Reid of Hastings.

"Two bags full of lovely gifts and goodies," was how Hastings appeal co-ordinator Jo Reyngoud put it.

The Mitre 10 Mega folk are also annual appeal supporters and as well as acting as a drop-off point the Napier and Hastings stores will also be running a point-of-sale donation opportunity for customers between December 5 and 19.

If customers wish to make a donation as they pass through the check-out spots they will be able to.

This year's big appeal, which will produce about 850 food and gift packages, helping about 3000 less fortunate people in total, will run through until December 21.

CASH TOTAL
Napier RSA..............................$2000
Taradale RSA.............................$500
Two Fold Opportunity Shop.......$500
Napier Host Lions Club..............$500
Bill and Shirley Dalton...............$250
Anonymous.................................$50
Total........................................$3800

● Drop-off points for this year's Christmas Cheer appeal:

NAPIER: Hawke's Bay Today at NZME House on Dickens St, Toy World, the Napier and Taradale libraries, Taradale Paper Plus, Curves Gym on Gloucester St, Greenmeadows, Mitre 10 Mega on Prebensen Dr and Alexander's Construction on Ossian St, Ahuriri.

HASTINGS: Goodies can be dropped off at Hawke's Bay Today on Heretaunga St East, Mitre 10 Mega on Karamu Rd North and the Hastings, Havelock North and Flaxmere libraries.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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