It costs about $2000 a day to provide home-based palliative care in the Warkworth Wellsford Hospice region, which runs from Puhoi to just south of Mangawhai. Hospice receives minimal government funding so relies almost entirely on local fundraising.
While national campaigns have been run locally, such as the annual Hospice Cuppa or New World ‘add a dollar’ events, locals have shown no lack of imagination in organising fundraising schemes of their own.
Jim Sonerson has pedalled thousands of kilometres on his stationary bike, Toastmasters have taken on the best in debates, Gala Berry has thrown open its strawberry fields for ‘pick your own’ events, residents have opened their doors for home tours, service clubs have run raffles, auctions and organised community dinners, golf balls have been hit, and creative inspiration has been let loose at Catwalk Arts.
Manager Kathryn Ashworth says it would be impossible to list all and every person who has helped hospice in some way over the past 31 years.
“They know who they are and we just can’t thank them enough.”
Cakes rise to the occasion
Some fundraising for the new hospice has happened one cup of flour at a time.
Joyce Davis and her husband Charles, who have been married for 66 years, have lived at Summerset Falls Retirement Village for the past four years.
Two years ago, 89-year-old Joyce started baking and raffling her cakes at the village and so far has raised more than $6100 for the hospice project.
“I sell the tickets over the weekend and draw the winner on the Friday,” she says. “The lemon loaf and chocolate and coffee sponges have all been very popular, but I think the pineapple fruit cake was my best seller.”
Joyce chose to support hospice because of the care the organisation had showed her son 10 years ago. “They were absolutely wonderful.”
Christmas lights shows support
Another stalwart supporter of hospice of many years standing is Brian Oakes, whose Christmas lights spectacular has raised nearly $8000. It takes Brian about a month to setup his display, which entirely covers his house and garden in Ashmore Crescent, Warkworth.
More than 30,000 LEDs are involved, as well as a sophisticated, computer-controlled light and sound show. “We put the show on for free, but the collection box is there for anyone who wants to leave a donation. We’ve had everything from washers to $50 notes. Hospice is a great cause that we’re proud to support.”