An emo­tional launch of Tril­lian Trek

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

Trucks with sirens, lights and water hoses out­side your home would nor­mally prompt cause for con­cern.

But for the Ed­wards fam­ily in Mata­mata, it was cause for cel­e­bra­tion.

Rae­gan and Daniel Ed­wards’s Browne St fam­ily home is well­known in town and on Sun­day it was also the launch point for the Tril­lian Trek.

Nu­mer­ous brightly painted trucks and cars were parked out­side the Ed­wards home on Sun­day morn­ing, where over the past few months Tril­lian Trek, over­seen by celebrity builder John Cocks and Dana Cootes, along with nu­mer­ous tradies and peo­ple from Mata­mata, have been busy with ren­o­va­tions.

This was to help meet the needs of Rae­gan and Daniel’s dis­abled daugh­ter Tamzyn who has been classed with the mo­tor func­tion symp­toms of a child with cere­bral palsy.

Ini­tial ren­o­va­tions were planned to in­clude a bed­room and bath­room for Tamzyn. But it’s turned into a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion of the whole house, in­clud­ing a kitchen and liv­ing area, bed­rooms for their other two chil­dren Bron­son and Tahlia and a main suite for them­selves.

On Sun­day, Tril­lian Trek rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Mata­mata-Pi­ako Mayor Jan Barnes pre­sented the Ed­wards fam­ily with the ‘‘key’’ to their new home.

Over 100 peo­ple are in­cluded in the 1700km Tril­lian Trek.

It will travel from Mata­mata to Whangarei this week, vis­it­ing schools and other fam­i­lies, like the Ed­wards, along the way. The bright ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing the South­ern Hemi­sphere’s long­est fire en­gine, at­tract at­ten­tion wher­ever they go.

Jour­nal­ist and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity Si­mon Dal­low has been in­volved with Tril­lian Trek for over 20 years.

He is al­ways sur­prised by what a dif­fer­ence can be made when peo­ple work to­gether.

‘‘The project to help Tamzyn’s fam­ily was re­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive of what the Tril­lian Trek is all about. You get this fam­ily who have spent the last year rais­ing money, but along the way, the call goes out that a young girl and her fam­ily need help.

‘‘It brings to­gether peo­ple from the Trek, lo­cal busi­nesses, com­mu­nity, con­tri­bu­tions from ev­ery­where.

‘‘It reaf­firms your be­lief in hu­man na­ture. You don’t ex­pect them to con­trib­ute to the de­gree they do, and over time they just give more and more.

‘‘They (the Ed­wards) are won­der­ful peo­ple. They have been warm and wel­com­ing. These won­der­ful peo­ple have made a dif­fer­ence in their lives and they just want to give back.’’

Through­out the launch, Rae­gan and Daniel were emo­tional. Daniel says it was dif­fi­cult to be­lieve the ren­o­va­tion would ever go ahead.

‘‘We could pic­ture it, but we thought some­thing would hap­pen to stop it from go­ing for­ward.

‘‘It went way be­yond what we ex­pected, it was just meant to be a bed­room, now look at it. It’s awe­some.

‘‘When we first saw the re­fur­bish­ment, we were over­whelmed and it was a very emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence. We feel very lucky and blessed.’’

Tril­lian Trek was launched at the Ed­wards home: Bron­son, Rae­gan, Daniel, Tahlia and Tamzyn.

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