Volunteers near to target for a worthy cause

SPECIAL OUTING: Fire chief Ron Leonard takes families for rides in his own vintage fire truck.
SPECIAL OUTING: Fire chief Ron Leonard takes families for rides in his own vintage fire truck.

A group of volunteer firefighters are excited about being even closer to reaching their target of raising $10,000 for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

It's thanks to volunteer members of the island's entire emergency services as well as many businesses, police and residents involved in a community day to remember on Sunday.

The Gold Coin entrance event was held to support the fundraising efforts of eight volunteer firefighters and raised around $3,500 with amounts still waiting to be included.

Previous fundraisers mean they already have $4,670 in the kitty and Waiheke Community Day organiser Louise Lenssen says the rest will be achieved in the next couple of months with further efforts.

She and other seven firefighters have been undergoing gruelling training to increase their stamina for the charity's Sky Tower Challenge on May 17.

Calling themselves Team Waiheke, they will be among hundreds of other firefighters fighting their way to the top of Sky Tower in full gear weighing up to 25kg.

Meanwhile, the community day was a winner for everyone.

Onetangi Sports Park was crowded with families having fun in the sun, with rides on fire trucks, an escape from smoke challenge, live music, circus performers, a waterslide and bouncy castle among the many attractions.

The opportunity to get up close to the vehicles and equipment used by police and fire brigade provided a major draw.

Children and adults got the chance to meet uniformed personel from Waiheke Coastguard, St John and the Red Cross as well.

Food stalls and other refreshments were available and a silent auction stall groaned with goods donated by businesses.

ANZ bank also supported the event once again with its donation of drinks and sausages for the barbecue.

Island musicians Ian Simpson, Al Reeve, Al Anderson, Frankie Hill and Stuart Mairs kept the crowds entertained throughout the day.

Waiheke Marketplace