Char­ity auc­tion misses big sup­porter

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - BY CATHY ASPLIN

This year’s Cor­ner­stone Trust char­ity lun­cheon will be bit­ter­sweet for the McTam­ney fam­ily.

Many of the items in this year’s auc­tion were pro­vided by Mar­tin McTam­ney, a huge sup­porter of the trust, who died last month.

After at­tend­ing a lun­cheon in 2009, Mar­tin was in­spired to pro­vide sport­ing mem­o­ra­bilia for the auc­tion, some com­ing from his own ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion and oth­ers from sport­ing per­son­al­i­ties.

He worked tire­lessly to source items, mostly by send­ing hand­writ­ten let­ters to well-known sports­peo­ple and ask­ing for as­sis­tance.

Mar­tin al­ways ex­plained the work of the trust and how money raised would ben­e­fit lo­cal ath­letes.

In­vari­ably the re­cip­i­ents of the let­ters were happy to help.

Items re­ceived were then framed, usu­ally with a pho­to­graph or a mes­sage from the donor, and back­ground re­search was car­ried out to add in­ter­est to the auc­tion lot.

In some cases this con­tact started a lengthy as­so­ci­a­tion with the trust.

Sir Brian Lo­chore and the late Sir Colin Meads have helped on many oc­ca­sions, ei­ther as guest speak­ers or pro­vid­ing mem­o­ra­bilia.

Oth­ers like ath­let­ics star Yvette Wil­liams and this year’s speaker, rac­ing driver Scott McLaugh­lin, have been so pleased with the amount raised from an item they do­nated, that they have con­tin­ued to sup­port the trust.

Mar­tin’s wife Lyn says he al­ways en­joyed the ‘thrill of the chase’.

“He took con­sid­er­able time to track peo­ple down and was pleased when he could meet them in per­son to ex­plain what he was do­ing.

“This in­cluded talk­ing to David Cam­pese at his cafe´ in Syd­ney, go­ing to Karaka to see Bart Cum­mings and even lin­ing up with the kids at the Weet­bix Try­athlon to get Va­lerie Adams to sign a shirt.”

Lyn says Mar­tin waited with great an­tic­i­pa­tion for do­nated items to ar­rive in the mail.

“He also loved re­ceiv­ing replies or chat­ting on the phone to the peo­ple he had writ­ten to.

“I’ve never seen him move so fast as when I told him Bob Charles was on the phone!”

One of his more un­usual schemes to help raise money was by grow­ing acorns from the oak tree planted at Ti­maru Boy’s High by Olympic Cham­pion Jack Love­lock.

Mar­tin con­tacted the school and asked for acorns from the tree that was pre­sented to Love­lock at the Ber­lin Olympics.

How­ever, his first at­tempt failed mis­er­ably — none of the acorns grew.

Un­de­terred, Mar­tin con­tacted the school again and re­ceived a sec­ond lot of acorns.

This time he con­tacted Grow­ing Spec­trum at Ki­hik­ihi and con­vinced them to look after them.

The re­sult was seven healthy saplings, of which sev­eral have been sold or traded for other items to auc­tion.

An­other one of the saplings, now a me­tre high, is up for grabs in this year’s auc­tion.

Mar­tin and Lyn have at­tended the lun­cheon for many years and have al­ways taken keen in­ter­est in the auc­tion.

“Mar­tin was es­pe­cially thrilled when the auc­tion items were well re­ceived and raised top dol­lar for the trust,” says Lyn.

While he won’t be at the lun­cheon this year, his fam­ily will be there in his hon­our, and his pres­ence will be felt when the mem­o­ra­bilia goes un­der the ham­mer.

His great­est legacy, how­ever, will be the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of lo­cal sports­peo­ple who com­pete on the world stage, thanks to grants from the Cor­ner­stone Trust.

Photo / Cathy Asplin

Mar­tin McTam­ney (sec­ond from left) sourced sev­eral items from Joseph Parker for the 2016 fundraiser. He is pic­tured with high­est bid­ders, from left Lyn Cudby (box­ing gloves signed by Parker), Kelvin Wil­liams (signed pic­ture of Parker, with in­spi­ra­tional mes­sage) and Ed Blake (tick­ets to Parker fight). The items raised over $7000 to­wards the record-break­ing to­tal of just over $40,000.

Jack Love­lock (cen­tre) on the podium at the 1936 Ber­lin Olympics with the oak tree now grow­ing at Ti­maru Boys’ High. An off-spring is up for auc­tion.

Per­son­alised mes­sage from Yvette Wil­liams.

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