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Dream to reality . . . LJ Hooker Oamaru principal Stephen Robertson (centre, right), surrounded by the LJ Hooker team, hands over the real estate company’s first contribution to the Waitaki Event Centre to trustee Kevin Malcolm. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

The Waitaki Event Centre fundraising campaign was given another boost on Wednesday.

LJ Hooker Oamaru principal Stephen Robertson handed Waitaki Event Centre trustee Kevin Malcolm a cheque for $2000, marking the start of the real estate company’s commitment to support the new indoor stadium.

Mr Robertson said until the $24million needed for the centre was raised, LJ Hooker had committed a “percentage” of all its property sales to be given to the Waitaki Event Centre Trust each month.

“We expect it to significantly increase from here, with the support of our vendors who are selling through LJ Hooker making it possible,” Mr Robertson said.

Several LJ Hooker staff members had children involved in sport or were involved themselves, and wanted to contribute to making the centre a reality.

“I’ve had children that have grown up that were basketballers, and we were always travelling out of town for the school events, tournaments because there just wasn’t facilities here.

“It’s going to be hugely beneficial to have this facility in Oamaru.”

Mr Malcolm said it was a “tremendous start by a tremendous team”.

“[It] will actually enable all their property sellers to contribute towards a really good cause as well,” he said.

“The facility is designed for everyone and I think already by the groups that are coming forward to help us make it a reality, it just shows that we are going to touch the whole community.”

Fundraising efforts were “well on the way” to matching Doug and Donna Hurst’s pledge to match every dollar raised by the community up to $5 million, Mr Malcolm said.