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Generous readers get ride-ons going again

RANI TIMOTI
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014
50c pieces
RIDING KINDNESS: Classic coin operated ride-ons are all go thanks to generosity from people and organisations. Max Hibbert, 10, his sister Ruby, 6, enjoy the fun and store owner Shelley Guest accepts coins from ASB Westgate branch manager Debbie Grace.

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Summer's joy has returned with extra lift after novelty rides in Kumeu are back in action.

The classic coin operated ride-ons only worked by a 50c piece for kids visiting with their families at the Juicy NZ Strawberries and Roastery.

But a mean-spirited thief pinched the coin jar, stopping the popular activity for a few days.

Store owners Trevor and Shelley Guest originally bought the ride-ons and 50c pieces off Trade Me for the free service and enjoyed watching children putting the coins in and riding.

They say the elephant, lion and rocket also gave a lot of pleasure to older customers who remember them from years gone by.

Following a Nor-west News story, a larger jar is now overflowing after old 50c coins have been pouring in from all over New Zealand.

"The response has been astronomical," Trevor says. "The generosity of people just popping into the store has been absolutely overwhelming."

The couple say pledges of coins are coming from as far as Queenstown, Mt Maunganui and around Auckland.

Ten-year-old Max Hibbert of Muriwai and his sister Ruby, 6, who are regular riders, are also rapt at people's kindness.

"There are some nice people out there," Max says.

Donors also include ASB at Westgate.

Branch manager Debbie Grace brought in coins along with piggy banks and glasses for the children.

"ASB is always looking for community stories where we can assist. My staff are also going through their piggy banks at home and I'm sure there's still an abundance of coins out there."

While at the store, people were continually dropping off old coins.

"I think it's wonderful - this is just a fantastic ending," Mrs Grace says.

Trevor says it's been so overwhelming it's almost embarrassing.

He's been trying to redeem the coins when people drop in bag-loads, but they're not interested - so he tries to persuade them free with icecreams and coffees.

Organisations like Heads Up for Kids, which is a national collection of old money and foreign currency for the benefit of Kiwi kids, will also add to the coffers.

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- Norwest News

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