Leona Smith has already smashed the target of climbing Mauao 38 times before 50 days as part of the Mount Everest Challenge.

Now she has a new goal of making it to the top of the mountain 50 times and she's already raised $10,000 with husband Graeme.

"Before I do anything I ask myself 'will this make a difference'?" Smith says.

This is one of the questions she always asks herself before starting her next charity event or community initiative.


"If I think 'no it won't help others', then I won't do it - it's not often I don't do something though," Smith laughs.

The Mount Maunganui woman has lived in the area for 18 years and has been a part of even more charity events.

One of the latest events Smith is organising is the Ladies Charity Luncheon in Mount Maunganui in June.

This year Tauranga Waipuna Hospice and Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service will receive the funds raised from the event. Last year, more than $110,000 was raised for the Hawaiki Rising Voyaging Trust and Tauranga Riding for the Disabled.

The mother of two teenage daughters has a long list of charities and community groups she has been involved in.

This includes being an organiser of the annual Tauranga CIB Police Luncheon, a Waipuna Hospice board member, a member of the Mt Maunganui Intermediate Board of Trustees, and being board chair of the Tauranga Riding for the Disabled.

Smith became aware of the Tauranga Riding for the Disabled charity after her work with the Tauranga CIB Charitable Trust.

"I was so humbled and moved by the work the charity does and the difference they make in people's lives."

Smith says although life can be "manic" at times and often feels as though she is "two conversations ahead" of herself, she loves every minute of the work she does.

"I do it because I have the freedom to be able to help others, and I do believe the work I do makes a difference to others."

Smith does not like the limelight but she has been recognised for the work she does in the community.

She last year received a Kiwibank Local Hero Award for Services to the Community, in 2015 she was given a Service Award for Services to Omanu Surf Life Saving Club, 2014 saw her nominated for the Bay of Plenty Times person of the year and The New Zealand Herald New Zealander of the year, and in 2013 Smith received the Bay of Plenty Police District Commander's Certificate of Appreciation for contribution to the annual Tauranga CIB Police Luncheon.

An annual community collection of used sports equipment and uniforms that is given to a Fijian village is something the whole Smith family get behind.

On a holiday 16 years ago, Smith's husband Graeme gave the rugby jersey he was wearing to a local Fijian.

The idea stemmed from there and every year since the family have donated thousands of pieces of sports equipment, uniforms, backpacks and stationery.

"We just get so much satisfaction out of it."

2018 Ladies Charity Luncheon
This year is the second time the event will be held in Mount Maunganui raising money for two local charities, Tauranga's Waipuna Hospice and Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service. This event is a celebration of women and the amazing things they can and do achieve. This year's guest speakers include Miriama Smith and Suzy Heazlewood and it will be hosted by Matilda Rice, winner of The Bachelor, model, writer and business owner. For more information visit eventfinda.