A star of the popular quiz television show The Chase is coming to Tauranga this week, and his visit will benefit some of the city's most vulnerable and needy.
Shaun Wallace, known on the show as the "Dark Destroyer", arrived in New Zealand last week from the UK and will be hosting the 20th annual New Zealand Pub Quiz Championships, organised by the quiz company Believe It Or Not, on Saturday in Auckland.
This week Wallace will talk at a special event at Tauranga's Bethlehem Shores retirement village, on Thursday afternoon.
The event was open to residents of Arvida's three local retirement villages, Bethlehem Shores, Bethlehem Country Club and Copper Crest, as well as their guests. Tickets have sold out.
Geraldine McLean, social committee convener at Bethlehem Shores, said she was expecting more than 200 people to attend.
McLean was "very excited" about Wallace's visit.
"Apparently he quite likes to talk in retirement villages because at 5pm, we usually sit down and watch The Chase and it's a popular thing amongst retirees," she said.
All proceeds from the event will go to Street Kai, an organisation that feeds the homeless and needy in central Tauranga every week.
McLean said as well as tickets being sold to the main talk, there had also been a silent auction to have lunch with Wallace and Dame Susan Devoy, and there will be donation buckets circulating at the venue on the day.
"I am hoping that it's going to be successful and everyone will really enjoy the presentation," she said.
Street Kai's Tracey Carlton said the group was now helping as many 100 to 120 people on a regular basis - Tauranga's homeless, people living in cars - with the youngest regular about eight months old and the eldest in her early 80s.
"We need all the support we can get and all the funding we can get," Carlton said. "We need all the community on board."
She said: "Looking after our homeless is about sharing resources.
"Thank you to Dame Susan Devoy and Shaun Wallace for their time, kindness and generosity of spirit to our awesome cause."
Meanwhile, a pub in downtown Tauranga, The Crown & Badger on The Strand, is also hosting Wallace on Thursday.
Owner Jessica Rafferty said Wallace would be doing a book signing (he's also in New Zealand to promote his autobiography), would give a talk, take part in a question and answer session, "and then some lucky people will be going head to head with him in a Chase-style quiz".
The event is at 7.30pm and is free. Rafferty they were already fully booked and were running a waitlist.
Wallace achieved international recognition when he joined The Chase in 2009. He is also a lawyer and part-time lecturer, and won Mastermind in 2004.