On Thursday, April 15 Te Awamutu Rugby, Sports and Recreation Club was the venue for the rescheduled Te Awamutu and Districts Day of Blessing.
In the days leading up to the event, many locals may have seen the Day of Blessing Mini as it was parked in various locations around Te Awamutu.
The 2021 guest speaker was former New Zealand and Australasian light welterweight boxing champion Billy Graham.
At 7am there was a complimentary breakfast with Billy with around 25 attendees.
This was followed by a complimentary lunch with Billy, where about 130 people attended, before the town blessing.
Billy spoke on his journey, goals and how his Christian faith has been a great foundation for his life.
As a young lad Billy was struggling, but he found a solution.
In his story he explains: "My life was exercising in the gym, running the hills and competing. The discipline I have learnt in my 20 years in the boxing ring gave me the confidence and assurance that I could succeed in any area I worked hard at.
"I have had a full and exciting life and wouldn't trade it for anything. My life now: The Naenae Boxing Academy is my replica of the facility the Dick Dunn made for me.
"I want to make that facility available for boys and girls throughout New Zealand and I believe there are people in New Zealand who want to make a difference as I do."
The Naenae Boxing Academy opened its doors in 2006 and Team Billy (which includes wife Kerri, son David, daughter Susanna and valued staff and supporters) has helped hundreds of boys.
Billy proudly talks about boys who arrived angry, insecure or confused and have become head boys at local schools and won civic and boxing awards – giving them a purpose in life using the disciplines of boxing.
Te Awamutu's Boxing academy, managed by Billy's brother Chris, is one of five Billy Graham academies around the country.
The Day of Blessing was founded nine years ago when Rev Diane Yule from St Andrews Presbyterian Church of Te Awamutu called the community to gather with the purpose to acknowledge and thank the many sections of our community that make us who we are.
Volunteers, Māori Wardens, police, business people, farmers, educators, whānau/families, local government, media, St Johns, Fire Brigade and more are in attendance and church leaders ask for the Lord's continued blessing for these people and the community in general.
The 2022 meeting will be on the first Wednesday in March with the guest speaker to be confirmed.