Ren­o­va­tion brings ‘happy tears’

Otago Daily Times - - WANAKA TIMES - SEAN NU­GENT­

MEM­BERS of the Wanaka com­mu­nity have come to­gether to lend a hand to a fam­ily in need.

Mount As­pir­ing College teacher An­drew Sloan and his wife, Cherie, had been ren­o­vat­ing their home last Novem­ber when Mr Sloan had a bike ac­ci­dent and was found to have a brain tumour.

With Mr Sloan often in Dunedin for chemo­ther­apy, Mrs Sloan strug­gles to find time to fin­ish the ren­o­va­tions.

Word got out to Mr Sloan’s col­leagues at the college, Clare Thomas­Moore and Jenny Edgar, who rus­tled up about 30 vol­un­teers and sup­plies from lo­cal busi­nesses and got to work at the Sloans’ home at both Queen’s Birth­day Week­end and the week­end fol­low­ing.

The Sloan fam­ily moved out while the vol­un­teers were paint­ing, dec­o­rat­ing, gar­den­ing and wood­stack­ing.

Mrs Thomas­Moore was im­pressed by the level of sup­port from the com­mu­nity.

‘‘I didn’t re­ally re­alise how many peo­ple want to give, want to help, over and above what we were go­ing to ask for. So many of our small lo­cal busi­nesses are gen­er­ous way be­yond their size.’’

When the Sloans re­turned, they were blown away.

‘‘To come home to a fully painted, ren­o­vated house is un­be­liev­able,’’ Mr Sloan said.

‘‘The thought, care and time gone into this project has been huge.

‘‘When we walked in the door there were lots of ‘wows’, ‘oh my gosh, look at that’ and happy tears, mostly from Cherie.’’

It is not the first in­stance of gen­eros­ity the Sloans have re­ceived from the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

In March, an­other col­league, Gena Ba­gley, set up a Givealit­tle page to sup­port the fam­ily dur­ing Mr Sloan’s re­cov­ery.

It has so far raised more than $22,000 from 267 do­na­tions.


An­drew Sloan trains for the 2013 Wanaka Chal­lenge race.

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