Gen­er­ous Xmas do­na­tion

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News - Lau­rilee McMichael

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.

Photo / File

The Awhina So­ci­ety’s Christ­mas present fund has been boosted by a $4000 do­na­tion from Sun­court Ho­tel.

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