Rain was not enough to dampen spirits nor generosity when the Mamaku and Ngongotaha communities were called upon for the Rotorua Daily Post's annual Christmas appeal.

Organised by the Salvation Army, members of the Mamaku and Ngongotaha Volunteer Fire Brigades were joined by Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick and a visiting Australia church youth group to collect donations from the two areas.

Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said the collection had been great fun.

"Instead of the rain making things harder, it made it more fun," Overbye said. "It was cool seeing people coming out in the rain to hand their donations to the collectors."

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Mayor Chadwick lent a helping hand to the Mamaku Brigade but also called in to the Ngongotaha Station to see how things were going.

In total 569 donations were collected from Mamaku and 1500 from Ngongotaha.
Salvation Army public relations co-ordinator Kay Worth, who is based in Hamilton, described the collection as amazing.

"The weather was atrocious but the people came out in droves," Worth said. "At one of the rural areas a brother and sister were waiting for us on one of those drift bikes.

"As we left we saw the sister pushing the drift bike up the hill with her brother in it. We were yelling to him that he should he helping but he told us he was her trainer and he was doing her a favour."

She said there were a lot of laughs on the night.

"It really was a privilege to be part of it."