After 26 years of support for the Hawke's Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust the Hastings Karamu Rotary Cocktail Party has taken a new turn.

The club announced last night at Vidal Estate Winery, surrounded by their sponsors and supporters, that they would be starting a new partnership with the Hawke's Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust, run under Sir Graeme Avery.

President Jeff Burson said they were extremely proud of their partnership over the past 26 years with the helicopter trust, which hadn't only enabled significant financial support for the trust but had also enhanced the overall awareness of what a fantastic asset it was for the Bay.

A $50,000 cheque was presented to helicopter trust chairman Peter Dunkerley from the Rotary group last night.


Mr Dunkerley said the trust was incredibly grateful for the 26 years of "wonderful" support from the Rotary club.

"We wish the Rotary club every success as they support a new charitable cause in its infancy."

Community service chairman Bill Livingston is taking the lead on The Cocktail Party 2018 and was excited about the change in partnership.

He said it was a hard decision but they had full support of the helicopter trust in their move and know that Sir Graeme's plan for the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park and his programmes under the trust would be a great community asset for years to come.

"The Club is focused on improving opportunities for the people of Hawke's Bay and our fundraising will help ensure all school children have the opportunity to attend, learn and challenge themselves no matter who they are. The Sports Centre ticks all our boxes."

Sir Graeme was humbled by the support the Hastings Karamu Rotary Club had shown and said the Hawke's Bay Community Fitness Trust was privileged to become the beneficiary of the annual fundraising event.

"The trust is looking forward to partnering with the club to continue their outstanding work for local community causes."

"The annual fundraiser will contribute to Trust programmes that will make a real contribution to enhancing community health and sports outcomes across the Hawke's Bay region, especially for the less privileged school children," Sir Graeme said.

Programmes under the trust had already got under way and they hoped through these and the planned new multi-purpose facility to improve the well-being and health of Hawke's Bay people, while also promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

Visit to sign up for the first opportunity to purchase tickets and for all the information on the event, which is scheduled for June next year.