Rais­ing funds as the sun goes down

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - PAULA HULBURT

Rais­ing vi­tal funds for surf life­savers of the fu­ture is lit­er­ally a walk in the park.

The an­nual Walk In the Park In the Dark gets un­der way on the short­est day - Fri­day, June 22.

All pro­ceeds will go to­wards buy­ing cru­cial equip­ment to train young mem­bers of the Rarangi Surf Life­sav­ing Club.

Club chair­per­son Neil Watts said the event was a chance for the com­mu­nity to show their sup­port and make a ‘‘real dif­fer­ence.’’

‘‘It’s our main fundraiser and very im­por­tant to us.

‘‘It makes a big dif­fer­ence as we are a smaller club and, Marl­bor­ough be­ing Marl­bor­ough, there are a lot of or­gan­i­sa­tions out there try­ing all try­ing to get their lit­tle bit of money.

‘‘Last year we used the money we’d made to fund a first aid course but this year our tar­get is to buy equip­ment such as res­cue boards to train up the ju­niors in the surf life­sav­ing pro­gramme,’’ he said.

The Rarangi Surf Club was formed in 1958 and bat­tled de­clin­ing mem­ber­ship in the 60s and 70s to stay afloat. Ev­ery week­end through­out the sum­mer months, life­guards pa­trol the pop­u­lar Marl­bor­ough beach.

The Whites Bay Club Rooms, off Port Un­der­wood Rd, at Whites Bay, opened on April 7, 1968 and have since wel­comed gen­er­a­tions of mem­bers.

Training the next gen­er­a­tion of vol­un­teers goes on through­out the winter months at the Marl­bor­ough Lines Sta­dium 2000.

‘‘We run surf sports pro­grammes for both ju­nior and se­nior mem­bers and need more equip­ment for training pur­poses and to use in com­pe­ti­tions.

‘‘The hope is that these kids will re­turn one day as adult vol­un­teers.

‘‘We are a very fam­ily ori­en­tated club and even some of the par­ents of the ju­nior vol­un­teers have come for­ward to help,’’ he said.

The club has around 30 ju­niors at the mo­ment.

The walk will take place at Wither Hills Farm Park off of For­est Park Drive in Blen­heim. Ad­mis­sion is free but pro­ceeds from food and drink stalls will be do­nated to the surf club.

There are two walk op­tions avail­able, a 75-minute op­tion and a shorter 45-minute one, each start­ing at 4pm, fol­lowed by a fire­works dis­play at 6.45pm.

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