Three chapters from Lower Hutt and one Upper Hutt chapter in Wellington pooled their resources in late November to host a BNI Hospice Auction at the Silverstream Retreat Centre, raising $14,000 for Te Omanga Hospice.
BNI Hutt City events co-ordinator, Andy Soper, said the chapters held a buffet dinner for 100 guests, with Melissa Moon as guest speaker, a silent auction and then a live auction as the main event.
“BNI Hutt City chapter tried an auction at a chapter meeting in 2009 and it went so well, that we have extended it to the other Hutt Valley chapters. It’s a good way to raise a sizeable amount for the hospice, compared to a monthly collection from members or any other ideas we’ve had.”
Andy said the funds raised will go towards the cost of a palliative care nurse.
“In previous years we have been able to provide a portable ultrasound scanner and 10 special high-tech mattresses.
“I have personal experience of the wonderful contribution the hospice movement makes to individuals in the last stages of their lives, including their families and communities.
“Although there is a base line of funding from Government, the hospice relies heavily on community support to provide the level of service that terminally ill patients need. It is as important as ever to support each other in our communities, especially in ways like this – we never know when we, or one of our loved ones, will need the hospice ourselves.
“It has now become a tradition for Hutt Valley BNI members to do something meaningful for the hospice. We have a good, community-minded group who seem to really enjoy coordinating our efforts on this. It means we can collectively do so much more than any of us could individually,” he said.
Melissa Moon – a long-distance runner, two-time World Mountain Running champion and winner of 21 New Zealand athletics titles – spoke about her achievements and motivation in sport.
“She has done remarkable things and clearly grown so much as a person, not just from her running but also by turning herself into a very accomplished public speaker. Her story is amazing, inspiring and well worth hearing.”
This year’s organising team consisted of Alastair Thomson, Liane Bowden, Benn Milne, Andy Soper, Dion Criscillo and John Spavin.