This year fundraising stars are lining up again - as they do every second year to provide both a boost for Cranford Hospice and the Hawke's Bay region as a whole.

It is a fundraising treble: The Hospice Holly Trail, the Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition and the Hawke's Bay Wine Auction.

The three charity events, all set to be staged in November, are driven by people passionate about building financial support for the hospice.

They are equally passionate about creating occasions which are colourful and attractive to both locals and visitors, and through the years it has become clear the latter component has certainly grown.


As Hospice Holly Trail chairwoman KK Marffy said the event, which will be the ninth staged, had already sold out with all 2500 tickets snapped up.

It brings a lot of people into the Bay, particularly from Auckland and Wellington, she said, "and this year we have quite a large number coming over from Australia for it".

Julie Russell, who heads the Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition and is a member of the Cranford Hospice Board, said about 4500 people had visited the 2014 exhibition staged at the Round Pond Garden in Hastings and it was clear many had come from outside the region.

It was ditto for the Hawke's Bay Wine Auction.

Project organiser Annabel Tapley-Smith said the event just continued to grow and was clearly nationally recognised with 60 per cent of the ticket sales having gone to wine enthusiasts and pursuers of something special outside the region - good for the auction, good for the region and good for Hawke's Bay's winemaking reputation.

In fundraising terms all three events have been remarkable.

The Hospice Holly Trail sparked a $40,000 result in the wake of its first staging back in 2000.

The 2014 event provided the hospice with a $250,000 boost - taking the full tally since the first to $1.3 million.

Staged alongside the Holly Trail, the fourth (also biennial) Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition added $50,000 to the Cranford coffers.

That donation, along with those made in the wake of the 2008, 2010 and 2012 sculpture exhibitions, took that total to just over $150,000.

Impressive amounts which reflected the community's drive and devotion - to support an invaluable facility and to engage in a spot of fine home and garden and art viewing.

The Hawke's Bay Wine Auction makes up the November treble and, like its co-events, draws huge national interest..

Last year's auction was another vintage one, raising $141,000 for Cranford, which took the total produced from the 24 auctions staged to about $2.5 million.

This year's event, which will take place at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings on November 12, is already shaping up to repeat and even overtake the success of the previous ones.

Ms Tapley-Smith said tickets sold out in a fortnight for last year's auction and this year was going the same way, until they were able to increase the size of the venue by edging into the adjoining cafe area, meaning another 150 tickets had been made available to take it up to 600.

On Thursday there were only 30 left.

In terms of the costs of putting such a huge event together she said with the support of the major sponsors and the winemaking fraternity they were able to run to a "break even" budget.

"And we are very proud of that - it all goes directly to Cranford Hospice."

There will be a special celebratory touch to the 25th auction, which was originally sparked by Cranford Hospice patron and leading wine exponent John Buck, in the form of a unique artwork by Gavin Chilcot titled Painting for Grown-Ups.

Earlier this month about 150 sponsors and supporters of the auction were given a glimpse of the artwork as well as a run through of the remarkable lots put together by local winemakers.

These include 40 specially blended auction wines which are not on offer or sale anywhere else.

And among the lots will be a commemorative one for Lawrence Redshaw who was auctioneer during the early years of the event.

"It is such a great opportunity to buy never-repeated wines," Ms Tapley-Smith said.

It is the exclusivity of wines which creates so much attention throughout the country.

And fine art is like fine wine, and the chance to be able to take in a landscape of diversity, beauty and some stunning fashion and food has made the Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition a must with thousands of locals and visitors.

The five-day event, which will again be staged at the Round Pond Garden from November 9 to 13, will feature an exhibition of sculptures created by artists throughout the country, which will include some stunning ceramic and glass works, as well as creative outdoor floral art projects.

There is the Wildflower Wearable Art display as well as walks, talks and fine high teas and refreshments.

Being able to assist with Cranford Hospice fundraising was as satisfying as it was hearing the comments from those who visited the exhibition, Julie Russell said.

Feedback from the 2014 event had been "fantastic" she said, adding that those who went along relished the opportunity to view and purchase if something caught their eye, such a range of artworks throughout a private garden.

"It has just got bigger and better - we will have 75 artists this time (there were 68 two years ago) so it is growing."

She and her husband Mike's property had been part of the Hospice Holly Trail of homes and garden and, as a special touch, brought in the work of artists. In 2008 they decided to make it an event in its own right, in collaboration with the Holly Trail.

She said the wearable arts displays were part of "keeping it evolving" and an extra spark to get people to come through the gates.

With an interest in art she said the Bay had plenty of fine artists and the event was a way of growing that profile.

The Hospice Holly Trail was started 16 years ago by a group of philanthropic women who wanted to raise funds for the hospice.

They have certainly achieved that, and this year's three-day event is a sell-out.

The trail is a self-drive three-day event and staged from November 10 - a time when the gardens at the homes visited (which are still being kept secret at this stage) would be at their best.

Ms Marffy said Christmas was always the theme and the homes visited, from traditional to contemporary, would be florally decorated accordingly.

As the official title states, it is a "Christmas celebration of flowers in Hawke's Bay homes".

Part of the whole trail programme is the Hospice Holly Trail Fete featuring up to 40 top quality craft stalls - to be staged in the grounds of Craggy Range Winery.

The grounds will also be the venue for lunches over the three days, and tickets for those were still available.

Ms Marffy paid tribute to all those who put in the time and devotion to make it all happen.

"We have approximately 350 volunteers who help us run the event," she said.

"It is a wonderful community event showcasing Hawke's Bay and is a tribute to Cranford Hospice and the high regard it is held in."