Thousands of dollars has been raised for Rotorua Community Hospice and hundreds of heartfelt messages have been left for loved ones at Farmers Rotorua in the lead-up to Christmas.
Farmers Rotorua presented a cheque for $25,416.53 to the Rotorua Community Hospice at store yesterday.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas the Farmers Tree of Remembrance had hundreds of customers write and put up touching messages to loved ones on the tree.
Customers were also asked if they would like to donate to the hospice or buy a limited-edition bauble in support of the work of hospice.
Rotorua Community Hospice chief executive Sharron Black said for the people of Rotorua the donation would enable the organisation to buy specialised equipment and medical consumables.
She said this was the third year they had held the tree appeal and each year the amount donated had increased.
Last year $22,510 was raised for the Rotorua Community Hospice and 100 per cent of all funds donated in each store remain in the local community.
The messages people left for loved ones were taken down and at the hospice's memorial service in March they got blessed and were held at the hospice grounds.
"We can't thank the team at Farmers enough for the way they have embraced raising funds and awareness for our community's hospice.
"Their enthusiasm and commitment alongside the support of the people of Rotorua have contributed to this amazing result to support our services. Thank you so much."
Farmers Rotorua manager John Porteous said they felt honoured to be able to present such a huge cheque to such a worthy cause.
"We want to thank the public. They have been amazing."
He said Rotorua Community Hospice was a worthy cause because it cared for so many people in the community in a time of need, and embraced the whole community.
Lisa Pauling, Rotorua Community Hospice acting funding and development manager, said it felt amazing to have that amount raised.
She said the appeal ran from November 16 to December 24.
A record-breaking $768,162 has been donated to hospice services around the country from the appeal.
Hospice New Zealand chief executive Mary Schumacher gave heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to this extraordinary result.
"It's humbling to see the way people come together for this event to remember their loved ones and to ensure their community's hospice service remains free of charge."
Acting chief executive of Farmers and chief financial officer Michael Power said Farmers was extremely proud of the amount raised during its Christmas hospice campaign, through a combined effort and generous donations made by customers, staff and its business.
"It's heartwarming to know the positive difference it will make in our communities."