An emotional launch of Trillian Trek
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.