THE community has rallied around Lance ''Stretch'' Voice after the devastating loss of his beloved animals and his home.

Stretch is well known in Waihi as the tall, interesting, generous cyclist who travels the streets on his retro bike, sometimes seen with stray animals in his jacket.

Stretch lived in a house bus which went up in flames late last month. The bus is a write off, and can not be repaired.

Long-time friend Tracey Moreland started a Givealittle page (Let's see how far Waihi's kindness can "STRETCH") and Stretch has already begun shopping around for a second hand bus he can call home.


''He has got accommodation at the moment. He is in good spirits, he was really humbled and overwhelmed when I told him how much we have raised.''

Many community members have contributed towards the cause — Tracey's job at the Commercial Hotel and liquor store has raised more than $2000 in coin collecting alone.

Waihi Underground Market owner Kim Gardiner ran an auction of various items, plus haircuts and facepainting at the weekend which brought in more than $2000 as well.

Individuals like Rhonda Walch took to the streets with her dogs, plus a few other puppy pals, to collect money and she raised $130 last week in the town centre. Miniature horses were at the Waihi Underground Market at the weekend and pony and cart rides raised $150.

The Givealittle page is now up to $6814.