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Arson-hit league club needs cash

LAUREN PRIESTLEY
Last updated 05:00 12/12/2012
Dean Kini
LAUREN PRIESTLEY

LOOKING FORWARD: Chairman Dean Kini sees a future for Mt Wellington Rugby League Club despite the recent arson attack.

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An arson attack isn't putting the Mt Wellington Rugby League Club off its game.

Two decks attached to the clubrooms were set alight on November 25.

The club is holding a fundraising night this Friday and hopes to raise $5000 for the rebuild.

Chairman Dean Kini says the fire has upset the small whanau-based club.

"The spirit of the club is different to most. We all grew up here."

The fire comes after a string of similar cases in the area, including a large blaze in the Mt Wellington Domain which threatened family homes last month.

Mr Kini says the league club would have been destroyed if neighbours had not noticed the flames.

The trees and ground surrounding the deck area have been charred.

The 60-year-old club runs 14 league teams and has produced some of the great names of league, including brothers Dane and Kurt Sorensen in the 1970s and 80s, and Kevin and Tony Iro a decade later.

Mr Kini has given 36 years of his life to the club and works hard to look after it.

"It's just about keeping the kids and showing them there's more to live for than getting into trouble.

"The fire has set us back with that."

Rebuilding the decks will cost up to $7000 in materials.

Builders in the club have offered to do the work themselves.

Mr Kini says it is a financial struggle with Christmas just around the corner.

"It's not a hell of a lot but we don't have it, that's the thing."

The social fundraising night this Friday will include a DJ, food and a raffle to raise money for the rebuild.

Individuals or families can also buy a name tag for a commemorative plaque.

Tickets are $10 and are available to purchase in advance or on the door.

Contact Dean Kini 022 060 7593 for more information.

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- East And Bays Courier

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