Bosses taking the drop for a good cause

LIB WILSON
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2014

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Many an employee has been sent over the edge by their boss, but a Waikato fundraiser will turn the tables.

The Drop Your Boss fundraiser will see more than 20 senior business people abseil down the 22-metre Gallagher building on Sunday.

The money will go towards bringing the Foundation for Youth Development's Stars programme - which helps year nine students adjust to high school - to Fairfield College in 2015.

Among the abseilers will be the Chiefs chief executive and coach, and 12 senior staff from the Gallagher Group.

The challenge didn't have deputy chief executive Steve Tucker too ruffled.

"Nervous is too strong a word, probably just apprehensive," he said.

"I sit on the third floor already and it doesn't look that far to the ground, so I'm figuring it's not too much further from the fifth. It might be different when I'm standing outside the glass."

"Sponsorship champion" corporate services manager Margaret Comer approached him about the fundraiser and, as he was the most senior person on site on the day, he decided to have a go.

He has a bit of abseiling experience from school camps and the like, but the Gallagher building is the highest he has tackled yet.

And before he does, he and each of the abseiling bosses need to raise $500 to qualify.

Foundation for Youth Development Waikato manager Vikki Blundell is also taking an active role in the fundraiser, being "dropped" herself.

Despite that, she was looking forward to the day.

"It's a fun, unique event that hasn't been done in Hamilton before, and I would very much like it to be an annual event from now on."

This year proceeds will go towards getting the Stars programme into Fairfield College next year.

The programme focuses on year nine students but involves the whole school and has several parts, she said.

They include an adventure camp to build relationships at the start of the year, community projects, and peer mentoring from senior students - which allows them to develop leadership skills.

It has had a big impact on students in the years it has run at Tokoroa High School, Ms Blundell said.

"Some of the stories make me cry . . . there's a stand-out leader that's come out of the programme who was bullied badly in primary and middle-school and the FYD programme literally changed his life. So when you hear that from him, it's really moving."

The foundation's fundraising target is $10,000 and $6500 has been raised so far.

To donate visit everydayhero.co.nz/event/dropyourbosswaikato2014, click sponsor a friend and search the name, or click top supporters.

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- Waikato Times

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