INDEPENDENT NEWS

City Impact Church ‘Tree Of Hope’

Published: Fri 30 Nov 2007 04:02 PM
Media Release from Sofitel
Queenstown Hotel & Spa
November 30 2007
City Impact Church ‘Tree Of Hope’ At Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa has joined forces with the City Impact Church Queenstown to provide a ‘Tree of Hope’ for those in need this Christmas.
From Saturday December 1 a large tree in the hotel foyer next to the fountain will be decorated with special ‘Hope’ decorations containing the opportunity to give hope and joy to people who struggle to enjoy Christmas.
The ‘Tree of Hope’ was launched for the first time last year, and proved such a success the hotel partnered with the church to build its community focus this year. City Impact Church pastor Dean Payn said he was appealing to Queenstown businesses and locals – as well as guests at the five-star hotel -- to select a ‘Hope’ decoration then buy a gift for the person within, who would be identified only by age and gender.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Queenstown community to show that they care for others going through difficult circumstances,” he said.
“It may be a needy child or family, someone who is currently facing a crisis or a single person who is far away from their family and alone at Christmas.
“We’ve been talking to every possible community agency, support service, counsellor, church, and school principal and the response has been fantastic,” said Pastor Payn.
“It isn’t only children who would love a gift at Christmas, there are many others who would love to think that someone is thinking of them at this family time.
“There are older people who have lost loved ones and feel all alone in the world, or visitors to town who are far away from their family and friends.
“I am sure that Queenstown will give the Tree of Hope 100% support. We are delighted that Sofitel Queenstown is supporting the church by enabling us to have such a high-profile central location for the tree.”
Sofitel Queenstown General Manager Mark Wilkinson said the hotel aimed to help the church pass the number of gifts donated last year, when the Tree of Hope was launched.
“We were absolutely thrilled and astounded by the response we got then – we had close to 70 gifts donated and our administration offices were overflowing with presents for young and old,” he said.
“Sofitel Queenstown will be getting the ball rolling by providing the first gifts, and we would love to think that other caring individuals could do the same. We had some amazing gifts last year, but gifts don’t have to be overly big or expensive; it is, after all, the thought that counts.”
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Clive Geddes described the Tree of Hope as a “great initiative.”
“There are certain times of the year where if you are away from home or family, or you are struggling on a day to day basis and need support – and that does happen in Queenstown – then it can be lonely.”
Gifts can be wrapped and under the City Impact Church ‘Tree of Hope’ by Friday December 21, when they will be collected by the church and distributed before Christmas. Sofitel Queenstown will be happy to wrap gifts free of charge if they are brought to the hotel reception.
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ENDS

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