Girls benefit from charity rugby
An afternoon of rugby in Toko ended up with two girls smiling from ear to ear.
The Mellowpuff Charitable Trust had their annual rugby match in Toko over the weekend and ended the day by giving two Toko girls a nice surprise.
Mellowpuff Trust founder Terry Long said the trust team played at Toko last year as well and promised they would help out some young people from the area when they returned a year later.
The trust gave an eight-year-old Toko girl a specialised trike to help her get around, and gave a 17-year-old girl two tickets to pop star Katy Perry, who is playing in New Zealand in December.
Long, who couldn't share the names of the two lucky girls, said the 17-year-old would be taking her mum to the concert and the trust had paid for flights, accommodation and given them "a little bit of spending money too".
"That's what it's all about, supporting people," he said.
The trust, which helps Taranaki children who have suffered sickness or other trauma, was set up eight years ago by Long and his wife Tanya after their daughter Melissa, 17, died from leukaemia.
Long said everyone on the field yesterday had gone on to play in the right frame of mind and it was a great day of entertainment.
The Mellowpuff team, which faced off against the Toko team and won, was made up of people from all around the district.
"Our oldest player was 51 and our youngest was 15," Long said.
"We also had a German boy on the field who'd never played rugby before. It was great."
Four men who had been through their own challenges and faced adversity were selected to play in the Mellowpuff team.
"While the trust is about young people, it's important we show the strength of people who have faced their own challenges," Long said.
Taranaki Daily News