Kerikeri New World Rotary Garden Safari nets $28k for community projects

Record results a boost for Rotary

The 26th annual Kerikeri New World Rotary Garden Safari earlier this month raised a record $28,000 which the club will distribute over the next 12 months to youth and community projects both across the mid-north and internationally.

More than 1,000 people visited the 18 gardens on display this year, which ranged from small urban sections to large coastal blocks.

Sixty publicity scarecrows made by Kerikeri business owners ‘hung out’ in the town in the weeks leading up to the event. A search for the best scarecrow drew 499 votes with the winner of the $100 prize being ‘Charlie’, a slightly androgynous and suitably senior-looking creation from the Kerikeri Retirement Village.

Rotarian and Garden Safari organiser Jenni Wilson said the task of finding new gardens each year was always a challenge, but that the standard and rich variety of gardens across the area gave the club plenty of choice.

Club president Martin Macpherson said he was “astounded” by the success of this year’s event and wanted to thank the people of the mid and far north for their ongoing support.

“We put the money to work but it’s really your money, your contribution,” he said. “Quite literally, we wouldn’t be able to do it without you.”

Funds raised by last year’s event went towards the club’s Dictionaries in Schools project and supporting causes such as mid-north youth leadership training initiatives and community growth and development, healthcare and welfare projects.

The Garden Safari prize draw, sponsored by Kwan Garden Creations, was won by Colleen Dudley of Kerikeri and the Redwoods Garden Centre Quiz was won by Janine Wilson, also from Kerikeri.  The Bertie Bloomer raffle was won by Sheena Jonson of Kerikeri and Monita Skipworth’s wheelbarrow full of gardening goods, which she was raffling to support her upcoming year as a Rotary International Youth Exchange student to France, was won by Kim Bellingham of Kaitaia.

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