A celebrity-studded golf fundraising drive and auction dinner has raised over $70,000 for Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s Cyclone Relief Fund.
The event at St Andrew’s Golf Club in Hamilton drew a high-profile card of 22 teams and 88 players, including sporting names such as former Black Caps captain Ross Taylor, All Black Anton Lienert-Brown and a team from the NZ Warriors.
Organisers behind the day and personal friends Ross Taylor and former Hawke’s Bay Racing CEO Andrew Castles are ecstatic with how the day went.
“Both Ross and I were blown away with the support,” Castles said.
Hawke’s Bay Foundation executive officer Amy Bowkett is grateful for the recognition.
Castles and his wife Tess were involved in the organisation of the day, and close friend Ian Smith broadcasted his radio show from the venue to ensure a “laser focus” on raising money for those in need in Hawke’s Bay.
“Raising $70,000 was an incredible result, and I think illustrates the depth of feeling in different parts of New Zealand for those in Hawke’s Bay who have suffered in so many ways. It also shows how many people have a connection back to Hawke’s Bay and a fond affection for the place. The biggest benefactor at the auction is someone who grew up in the province but now lives in Auckland. There is a little bit of the Bay in most of us.”
St Andrew’s Golf Course waived the day’s tournament fees for the cause, with $16,500 raised from golfing team entries and a further $53,500 from the auction. Appropriately, it was a team of Hawke’s Bay lads who took out play on the day.
“Angus Schaw, Jake Smith, Hamish Lewis and Sam Jenkins are a fine bunch of young guys who wanted to be part of the day. I have known Jake Smith for a long time and played cricket with Angus Schaw’s father Colin.
“Their teammates Hamish Lewis and Sam Jenkins are proud Bay boys who now live outside the region but still have that massive tie to the province they grew up in. I was stoked they burned up the St Andrew’s course and fired an amazing score under the Ambrose conditions of the tournament.”
One hundred days on from Cyclone Gabrielle, Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s cyclone relief fund has distributed or pledged over $1.3 million in donations and more than 60 per cent of its total fund to support regional recovery efforts.