Big cheque for Hospice House

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The amount raised from Portside Punch was announced on Friday and organiser Sally Ann Donnelly says it was a “dream come true”, with $118,067 raised for the North Otago Hospice House.

After something which started off as a conversation over the bar, The Portside Punch reached fantastic heights.

Members of the local community began training about 12 weeks out from the event, and the number of competitors was trimmed from 38 down to 22.

Organiser Kate Cartwright said she was delighted with the amount of money raised.

“Our goal was $100,000 and it’s awesome that we managed to raise that much, but it must be said that if it wasn’t for the support of the boxers and the local community, then none of this would have been possible.”

Miss Cartwright and Mrs Donnelly said without the support of the community and the participants, the event wouldn’t have gone ahead and the North Otago Hospice House could well have struggled for traction.

North Otago coordinator for Otago Community House, Bridget McAtamney, said it was pleasing to see so much being fundraised.

“I didn’t expect this much to be raised, but am incredibly happy it was, and without the support of the boxers and community we would have nothing,” she said.

Ginny Green, from the Otago Community Hospice, said the North Otago Hospice House was in the fundraising and development phase.

“The facility will be a base for Hospice staff and volunteers, education services, supportive therapies, medical and outpatient clinic, counselling and fundraising.”

While a building and site are yet to be determined for the North Otago Hospice House, they are hoping to find one in the not too distant future.

The Portside Punch was just the first step of fundraisers in line for raising funds for the North Otago Hospice House, with a Boar and Stag Muster from August 8-10 also organised. More than $25,000 worth of prizes have been donated for the event.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

FAIR SUM: Portside Punch organisers Kate Cartwright and Sally Ann Donnelly, left, hand the cheque over to North Otago Hospice members Jill Gillanan, Bridget McAtamney and Ginny Green.