Customers at a tiny Otematata eatery have combined to make a substantial donation to Australian bushfire relief.
Karen Gleenslade, who comes from Western Australia, decided to give all her proceeds from her Hungry Hydro coffee and food caravan to her homeland on Australia Day. It fell on Sunday, which coincided with great weather as people headed to the Waitaki Lakes.
Mrs Greenslade is in her second season of running her venture alongside State Highway 83, about 60m from the turnoff to Loch Laird. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 8am to 2pm.
She baked the Aussie classics – cheese and Vegemite scrolls and macadamia nut biscuits – but thought she had better not risk transtasman relations with pavlovas.
Oamaru’s Delectables bakery donated meat pies, Bidfoods gave her lamingtons to sell, Atomic contributed the day’s coffee beans, and Jaime Linton provided the milk.
The line-up of items to sell was boosted by jams and preserves made and donated by local residents, along with fresh produce from their gardens.
Having publicised her fundraiser through Facebook pages and word of mouth, Mrs Greenslade was so busy on Sunday she did not have time to even think about taking photos.
Customers would buy coffee and something to eat, then add an extra $5 to go to the bushfire relief fund, she said.
“I was so impressed. I was hoping to get at least $900.”
The tally was $1759.50.
“That’s very good for a little tiny town like Otematata.”
Mrs Greenslade would give a third of the money to Kangaroo Island, where her nephew’s wife grew up and her family still lives. She said she knows through her direct connections that all the money would go to where it was needed there.
Another third would be given to the Salvation Army that has been feeding the firefighters, and the final third to Rural Aid Australia.