Huge Celebrations As Charity Hospital Raffle Drawn

Published: Fri 13 May 2022 06:19 AM
Celebrations are underway as the Southland Charity Hospital’s latest fundraiser comes to an end. At 7.30am today one lucky ticketholder will find out they have won a new Ford Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback.
It is expected the prize draw and associated activities will raise $360,000 for the hospital.
Southland Charity Hospital Board Member, Melissa Vining says “these important funds will be used for medical equipment ahead of the hospital opening later this year and will allow us to help more patients access the healthcare they both need and deserve.”
Vining says due to Covid- 19 restrictions fundraising events such as the hospital’s annual gala were cancelled last year so the Media, Fundraising, and Events Committee had to think outside the square to raise the $1 million needed for medical equipment and major assets for the hospital.
When the prize draw was first suggested everyone was on board from the outset she says.
“This has been such an exciting opportunity for our team, but it’s also been so special for my family because Blair was the biggest Ford fan and giving away a Mustang to a lucky hospital supporter would have had him smiling ear to ear.”
The committee sold 4,150 tickets, selling out a week before the fundraiser finished. Tickets were purchased by people throughout New Zealand. The winner will be drawn this morning, which would have been Blair’s 42nd birthday.
“We’re so grateful to all those who have helped us throughout this fundraiser. Those who made this draw possible and those who helped make it so successful. We’re also grateful to all those who have bought tickets and supported the hospital,” she says.
Celebrations of the fundraiser’s success began yesterday afternoon with The Rock’s Morning Rumble team, Roger Farrelly, Mel Abbot, and two-time New Zealander of the Year nominee Bryce Casey. They visited the hospital to check out how it is progressing, even pitching in to give bricklaying a crack before unveiling the Bryce Casey statue.
Design by Phil Robinson of Back 9 Creative Studio, and brought to life by Brad Anderson from Hyde Landscape, the statue is a large cartoon of Casey from the Southland Charity Hospital’s 2020 Pack the Park event. It will be installed in the Blair Vining Memorial Garden at the hospital.
“Bryce Casey’s work for mental health really resonated with Blair, as it’s another area of the health system that is underfunded. Blair admired Bryce’s work in this space and when Blair was nominated for New Zealander of the Year he told everyone Bryce should have been nominated for all his hard work raising money for mental health support and the I Am Hope charity,” Vining says.
“Bryce and the team from The Rock radio station live in Auckland but they have provided a huge amount of support for the Southland Charity Hospital as well as personal support to the girls and I.”
The Morning Rumble will broadcast from the Invercargill Mediaworks studio today, where the Mustang draw will take place.
Once the Morning Rumble finish their show they will head down to the Southland Tavern for a car run - Cruis’n Southland with The Rock, which is another nod to Blair.
Vining says “to be having a car run on Blair’s birthday just seemed the perfect way to celebrate with the community ahead of the evening event.”
The Morning Rumble crew will lead a convoy of vehicles through town before heading out to Winton and back to Invercargill via Wallacetown. They will be joined by special guests Graham and Raewyn Henry, Brendon Laney, Pita and Megan Alatini, and Matt Watson.
The cruise should be impressive with over 200 people having already pre-registered. There will be a range of vehicles including more than 50 classic and performance cars. Participants can also register at the Southland Tavern between 1pm – 1.30pm today, with the convoy departing from there at 2pm.
The car run will finish at the Ascot Hotel where celebrations will continue with the Glory Days Pack the Park Hall of Fame evening event. Glory Days will be hosted by The Morning Rumble team and promises to be full of fun and laughter.
Vining says today is set to be an extraordinary day and she cannot think of a better way to commemorate Blair’s birthday.
“Celebrating with the community on Blair’s birthday is how the girls and I honour him. Blair lived life to the fullest, he lived for his girls, mates, and community. We celebrate how he would have wanted to and today is action-packed, just the way he would have wanted it.”

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