Raising spirits and cash

Last updated 16:02 07/02/2013

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The Sarau Festival has raised $10,000 to help repair the fire-damaged Moutere Hills Community Centre with an estimated 5000 people attending last Sunday's event.

The annual festival was moved outdoors to the playing fields at Moutere Domain after a fire destroyed part of the community managed-centre on January 22.

But that didn't stop the festival being a big success, with organiser Jenny Leith saying she was overwhelmed by the support from the volunteers, businesses and community.

"It's absolutely stunning," Jenny said. "Everyone has worked really hard and we have managed to pull everything together really well.

"We had really good support from our volunteers and the business community. And so many people have come out to enjoy the festival."

Jenny said a raffle and silent auction had been organised in record time to help raise funds to repair the centre. Volunteers Sue Cleaver and Brighid Critchlow had worked miracles to organise the fundraisers with Brighid spending "16 hours a day" last week organising the raffle which sold 1700 tickets.

Jenny said the raffle, silent auction and sales table raised about $10,000 for the fire fund, while a further $20,000, raised from admission and stall holder fees and a book stall, would be distributed to community groups.

"The trust will meet in April once we have paid all our accounts to decide how to distribute the funds.

"Of course, some of the proceeds will go to the centre, but we also give grants to community groups like the volunteer fire brigade who do all our parking at the festival and youth group who pick up all the rubbish."

Jenny said she was also grateful to HireQuip for donating a giant marquee to substitute for the indoor venue. CRT and Tasman Crop covered the costs of transporting and erecting the marquee, while NBS donated $3000 to help pay for generators for the 160 stalls and portaloos.

Jenny said two of the most popular events were cooking demonstration by award-winning chef Mark Mehalski from Jellyfish Cafe and Bar, and Kids Can Cook star Chris Fortune.

The festival was also a good opportunity for Moutere's artisans to showcase their works, she said.

The centre's management committee chairman, Philip Leith, said Sunday's festival was probably the biggest and best ever.

"There is a terrific spirit around here to get things up and running again."

The community was showing a lot of interest in the committee's idea of erecting a temporary outdoor covered food and beverage area outside the changing rooms kitchen, to cater for winter sports codes, and it was likely to be a focus of activity.

The other focus was starting the clean-up of the undamaged parts of the centre.

"At this stage we are cleaning up the gym, which doesn't look too badly damaged, but the rest of the cleaning hasn't started yet."

Philip said he would attend this Thursday's community services meeting of Tasman District Council to hear its rebuild plans for the council-owned building.

Really nice: Sharing an icecream at the Sarau Festival last Sunday were, from left, Emilia Banks and Isabelle, Charlotte and Madison Turner. Photo: SIMON BLOOMBERG

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Raising spirits and cash

BYLINEXX

The Sarau Festival has raised $10,000 to help repair the fire-damaged Moutere Hills Community Centre with an estimated 5000 people attending last Sunday's event.

The annual festival was moved outdoors to the playing fields at Moutere Domain after a fire destroyed part of the community managed-centre on January 22.

But that didn't stop the festival being a big success, with organiser Jenny Leith saying she was overwhelmed by the support from the volunteers, businesses and community.

"It's absolutely stunning," Jenny said. "Everyone has worked really hard and we have managed to pull everything together really well.

"We had really good support from our volunteers and the business community. And so many people have come out to enjoy the festival."

Jenny said a raffle and silent auction had been organised in record time to help raise funds to repair the centre. Volunteers Sue Cleaver and Brighid Critchlow had worked miracles to organise the fundraisers with Brighid spending "16 hours a day" last week organising the raffle which sold 1700 tickets.

Jenny said the raffle, silent auction and sales table raised about $10,000 for the fire fund, while a further $20,000, raised from admission and stall holder fees and a book stall, would be distributed to community groups.

"The trust will meet in April once we have paid all our accounts to decide how to distribute the funds.

"Of course, some of the proceeds will go to the centre, but we also give grants to community groups like the volunteer fire brigade who do all our parking at the festival and youth group who pick up all the rubbish."

Jenny said she was also grateful to HireQuip for donating a giant marquee to substitute for the indoor venue. CRT and Tasman Crop covered the costs of transporting and erecting the marquee, while NBS donated $3000 to help pay for generators for the 160 stalls and portaloos.

Jenny said two of the most popular events were cooking demonstration by award-winning chef Mark Mehalski from Jellyfish Cafe and Bar, and Kids Can Cook star Chris Fortune.

The festival was also a good opportunity for Moutere's artisans to showcase their works, she said.

The centre's management committee chairman, Philip Leith, said Sunday's festival was probably the biggest and best ever.

"There is a terrific spirit around here to get things up and running again."

The community was showing a lot of interest in the committee's idea of erecting a temporary outdoor covered food and beverage area outside the changing rooms kitchen, to cater for winter sports codes, and it was likely to be a focus of activity.

The other focus was starting the clean-up of the undamaged parts of the centre.

"At this stage we are cleaning up the gym, which doesn't look too badly damaged, but the rest of the cleaning hasn't started yet."

Philip said he would attend this Thursday's community services meeting of Tasman District Council to hear its rebuild plans for the council-owned building.

- Nelson

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