Hob­biton lo­cals day ben­e­fits Pohlen

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

Just by vis­it­ing Hob­biton, Mata­mata lo­cals have helped Hob­biton Movie Set and Farm Tours make a very hearty do­na­tion to Pohlen Hos­pi­tal.

The $13,440 do­na­tion is the re­sult of Hob­biton Movie Set and Farm Tours lo­cals day, from July and Au­gust this year.

Lo­cal peo­ple paid $10 each for a tour of Hob­biton, in­clud­ing a visit to the iconic Green Dragon Inn and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the night lights.

This is the fourth time Mata­mata peo­ple were in­vited to take a tour, with the pre­vi­ous held in 2012.

The for­mat changed this year from be­ing just a one-day event, to spread­ing the tours over two months.

At a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion at Pohlen Hos­pi­tal, gen­eral man­ager of Hob­biton Movie Set and Farm Tours Rus­sell Alexan­der pre­sented a cheque to Pohlen Foun­da­tion trustee David Gasquoine.

In his speech, Alexan­der praised the hos­pi­tal.

‘‘We are very lucky in Mata­mata to have this fa­cil­ity.

‘‘We ini­tially started with one month and thought it’s a great op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to see what we are do­ing.

‘‘Peo­ple are prob­a­bly un­aware of what’s out there and we thought we could do a small con­tri­bu­tion and do­nate those funds.

‘‘So those funds are re­ally from the com­mu­nity. ‘‘It’s great to be part of it.’’ He also praised i-Site man­ager Sue Whit­ing and her team for their in­volve­ment in bring­ing lo­cals day to­gether and man­ag­ing it.

‘‘It wouldn’t hap­pen with­out Sue and the i-Site on board. It’s not just from Hob­biton, but it’s a con­tri­bu­tion from i-Site as well.’’

Gasquoine said the Foun­da­tion Trust was thrilled Hob­biton wanted to do­nate the funds and be in­volved with the build­ing of the new wing.

‘‘What makes Pohlen spe­cial is that our lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity in par­tic­u­lar con­tin­ues to sup­port us so we can de­liver ex­tra bits and pieces, build new wings and cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where we can pro­vide for our com­mu­nity from the cra­dle to the grave, so to speak.

‘‘That is what our com­mu­nity ex­pect of us, and I think we do it pretty well. The rea­son we can do that is be­cause of peo­ple like your­selves who don’t hes­i­tate to con­trib­ute.

‘‘Hob­biton is a huge part of the com­mu­nity, a big em­ployer and a lot of your own staff will be ben­e­fit­ing from Pohlen be­ing here.’’

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