It takes more than a Tasman Tempest to put Warkworth Lions and Mahurangi Rotary off their stride, so when the recent weekend weather bomb threatened their Riverside Dinner at Warkworth wharf, they simply moved the event inside – in this case, to the New World undercover carpark.
The usually somewhat stark surroundings were transformed into a 240-seat banqueting hall decorated in nautical fashion, with ships’ flags and maritime memorabilia, including anchors, oars, lifebelts and navigation lights.
Diners enjoyed a two-course roast dinner, with entertainment from Warkworth Brass Band, and more than $18,000 was raised for local local causes, principally Warkworth Wellsford Hospice and the Mahurangi River Restoration Trust.
Guests included MP Mark Mitchell, Cr Greg Sayers, Local Board Chair Beth Houlbrooke and Rotary leaders from Whangarei, Whangaparaoa and Henderson.
Mahurangi Sunrise Rotary’s Brian Tuck said the dinner was a great example of the community spirit that exists in Warkworth, despite the challenges presented by the weather.
“Although Mahurangi Rotary and Warkworth Lions organised the dinner, a large part of the success of the event is due to the generosity of the main sponsors, Mason Contractors, Composite Joinery and Fulton Hogan,” he said. “But just as important was the support of numerous other companies who donated materials, services, gave generous discounts or provided practical assistance. We are truly grateful for their community involvement and support.”