Raglan chips in to help a mate
Thousands of dollars have been raised for popular Raglan photographer Gene Glover, who lost his house and camera gear in a fire at Christmas.
The Raglan Windsports Club held the Kite Jam event, with 50 competitors taking part in kite surfing at the beach followed by an auction and party at the Raglan Golf Club.
"Gene is a Raglan local, a beautiful person, and not only did he lose his house and gear but he was uninsured," said Raglan Windsports Club president Shane Walden.
"He's a top guy and when his house burnt down he ended up with no insurance, nothing.
"He is well loved. There was never any doubt that we would help him."
The fundraiser was a huge success, Mr Walden said. It started on Raglan Beach and finished late on Saturday night with "one big party".
"Gene made a speech at the end of the night, he was very humble about the whole thing, and very grateful.
"He said he was blown away by all the support, by everyone giving him a hand.
"He said was very privileged to live in a community like Raglan. Everyone came to the table to help Gene. "We had all sorts of great prizes donated for the auction. One local gave a weekend's free accommodation at their Whale Bay house and a builder gave a day's free work."
Mr Walden singled out the Windsports Club secretary Janis Jeffers and treasurer Alex Kirby for their help in organising the event.
Mr Glover's two-storey house was razed by a fire in the week before Christmas. It destroyed all his belongings, including the Christmas tree and his children's yet-to-be-wrapped gifts.
He also lost most of his camera gear.
Mr Glover had no plans to leave the area, Mr Walden said.
"I reckon Gene will be sticking to this town for a long time yet.
"It was an uplifting event for all.
"It was very special community gathering for Gene and heaps of fun . . ."