Stepping out to boost charity

23:58, Mar 23 2014

The annual charity stroll along Nelson's Boulder Bank yesterday was blessed with perfect weather and the largest crowd yet.

The fifth annual Knapps Lawyers Boulder Bank Challenge, delayed by a week by last Sunday's stormy weather, attracted about 200 people to the event organised by the Rotary Club of Nelson West that acts as a fundraiser for the service organisation and the Nelson Coastguard.

Participants paid $20 to take part in the walk from Boulder Bank Drive in the north, to the lighthouse opposite the port. Those opting for the boat trip across the harbour to the lighthouse and back paid $25.

The Department of Conservation helped by co-ordinating a rubbish collection exercise along the way. Walkers helped pick up flotsam, which ranged from a washed up chair to the general detritus washed off boats or down flooded rivers, and left on the Boulder Bank by high tides.

Rotary club president Dick Carter said it was a great day out, and possibly the best yet, helped by the large crowd and the support from sponsors this year which helped cover fixed costs, which meant more of the public's contributions would go to charity.

Mr Carter said it was unclear yet just how much had been raised by the event which attracted good numbers of Nelsonians, plus a few from overseas holidaying in Nelson.

Bach owners provided refreshments to walkers while a descendant of the early lighthouse family, Brian Kidson, and Nelson geologist Mike Johnson were on hand to talk and answer questions on the history of the Boulder Bank.

Mr Carter said Rotary exchange students helped raise funds for the "shelter box" - the emergency box sent by Rotary to disaster areas, through the proceeds of cakes they baked and sold yesterday.

Mr Carter said it was great to see the age range of people taking part in the challenge, from families with babies and young children. "Most Nelsonians identify with the Boulder Bank but a lot have not been. You get such a different perspective on the city from out there."