The task seemed daunting when Coastguard Kāpiti Coast started fundraising for a new rescue boat.
It would need someone special to spearhead the project, and be prepared for the long haul.
That person was Pete Woodward — a dogged fundraising tour de force — who would make the task much easier for the lifesaving unit.
In the Queen's Birthday Honours List, Woodward, from Paraparaumu Beach, has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to the Coastguard.
He was "delighted, gobsmacked, very humbled and honoured" with the award.
"I only wish my father Jack had been here because he was awarded an OBE many years ago."
He thanked everyone who had been supportive, especially his wife Glenys — the couple will celebrate their golden (50-year) wedding anniversary in October.
Woodward, a senior member of the Coastguard Kāpiti Coast for a number of years, is well-known for his tenacious fundraising efforts for the unit.
As the unit's fundraising officer he has overseen raising more than $300,000 towards a new rescue launch, which is now at the unit.
"I enjoy helping the community."
He's helped organise three fundraising Coastguard balls, gone cap in hand to various clubs, organisations, businesses and individuals, and more.
"There must be thousands of people in Kāpiti over the last two or three years who have chipped in money.
"All that money has stayed here.
"This is one of the largest charitable community projects on the coast for many years.
"I'm very proud of the community, and the spirit behind it, when we want something."
He had even spent two days "walking the full length of Wellington just knocking on people's doors".
The unit is now the proud owner of a new rescue vessel which will serve the community for many years to come.
Woodward, who has just turned 80, is also the unit's communications officer and is on-call 24/7.
During an incident Woodward operates from the unit's office at Paraparaumu Beach where he liaises via radio with boats, police, ambulance, rescue helicopter and others.
"I love being part of a team."
He estimates he's done more than 3000 radio hours.
Voluntary work is not uncommon to Woodward, whose career has been in the catering industry including in the Merchant Navy.
He used to be a volunteer in a Coastguard unit as well as a fire brigade in Cornwall.
When he's not helping out at the unit, he enjoys making model radio-controlled ships.
His latest project is creating a 1m miniature of the United States Coast Guard heavy ice breaker called the Polar Star.
The US Embassy allowed him onboard the ship when it was in Wellington Harbour recently.
Woodward received two accolades in 2016, including a Kiwibank Local Hero Award and the IMT Communications and Incident Management Volunteer of the Year.