Generous Xmas donation
Taupo¯’s Awhina Society can make Christmas brighter for local families thanks to a donation from a local business owner.
At Destination Great Lake Taupo¯’s recent Christmas function, John Funnell, owner of Taupo¯’s Suncourt Hotel, bid $4000 for an overnight experience with Kai Waho Aotearoa, a Māori cuisine, cultural and wilderness experience run by Tom Loughlin of Ngāti Tu¯wharetoa in the Kaweka mountains.
Mr Funnell says while he was keen to win the Kai Waho experience, his real motivation was to support the work of Awhina Society which runs Taupo¯ Women’s Refuge and Taupo¯ Community Foodbank.
It is collecting community Christmas presents for local families.
“To help those kids get Christmas presents was the real motivation. We like to do what we can, particularly for kids and that’s the sort of thing that motivates [partner] Chrissy Simmen and me.”
Tom Loughlin donated the package and was pleased to hear it had been so popular.
He was unable to attend the auction.
“It was the generosity of John, not me, he’s the one who bid $4K,” Tom said. “We just put the prize up.”
Tom donated the package after an approach by Maggie Sando of Destination Great Lake Taupo¯.
“It’s actually about what we do as a community, it’s not about us. The kaupapa is about helping the community. It’s just good to be a part of it.”
■ Clarification: The $4000 donation to the Awhina Society came from the Suncourt Hotel’s winning bid, not from Destination Great Lake Taupo¯ as reported in last week’s paper.
The Awhina Society’s Christmas present fund has been boosted by a $4000 donation from Suncourt Hotel.