The Hornby Rotary Club’s decision to contribute to North Canterbury’s earthquake recovery has helped raise $52,000 – $45,000 of which was raised in one week.
The fundraising effort is half of a goal set out by the club to support groups like the Canterbury-West Coast Air Rescue Trust (CWCART) following the November 14 Kaikoura earthquake.
CWCART chief executive Christine Prince said the the charity, which is 70 per cent funded by donations, was called to Kaikoura 19 times during the first week after the earthquake, and the funding would help keep the trust going.
“We were just absolutely blown away . . . we have a number of sponsors but we have to raise $7 million a year to keep the service going.
“We are always very busy fundraising anyway but with Kaikoura, the nature of the earthquake and the fact that we became the lifeline for patients . . . we then went into a time where we’ve had the busiest summer on record. We had 85 missions in December.”
The rotary club’s effort may not have gone ahead had member Doug Coventry not decided late last year to change his weekly talk from the usual book review to a call to action.
“A lot of our members had hassles with the Christchurch earthquake, so they’re very familiar with [earthquake struggles].
It took only one week for the club to raise $45,000, and soon after it had $52,000 to give to CWCART.
Coventry said the club’s total fundraising goal – driven mostly by himself and fellow members Len Glass, Peter Thompson and Jerome McNeill – was set at $100,000 so it could be shared amongst a range of efforts being made to support Kaikoura’s post-quake recovery.
“We initially went to the mayor of Kaikoura and asked him about urgent projects. He said most things were under control at that stage and talked about things like a new swimming pool.
“We found out that it’s going to be three years before getting [the pool] organised . . . we don’t want to bug around for three years.”
Fundraising efforts had slowed from the initial blitz and the group was looking for more ways to find contributors, while considering setting up Facebook promotions and a Givealittle page.
The club would then open up applications to groups or individuals in need and select at least one worthy recipient for the rest of the money it hoped to raise.
“It could go to a surrounding town like Ward,” Coventry said.
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