Celebrate is back. The highly successful Hospice Tairawhiti fundraiser of 2016 which kick-started the organisation’s new building fund to the tune of $70,000 will be held again in 2018.
Planning is already well underway for the March 9 event, and once again it will celebrate all that is good about the region and wider community. Event coordinator, and Horizon Energy Group marketing advisor, Bridgette Penny says Gisborne’s diverse culture has been the inspiration for a gorgeous wine-matched global gastronomy menu designed by The Vines chef Bryn Lewis. “The food has always been something we set a very high expectation on,” says Ms Penny. “People know if they come to a Hospice event they’ll get a good night, great food, fab company and may go home with a little something as a bonus.” She says Mr Lewis’ flair, creativity and passion with food will no doubt once again create an event to be remembered.
Mr Lewis, who has been involved with Hospice events for many years, has cooked internationally and is promising a real “melting pot” of Gisborne flavours that celebrates the region. “It will be like having a flight that stops over at all sorts of fantastic destinations around the world,” he says. “It is an event I always look forward to and for such a great cause.”
Ms Penny is looking for work from local artists, wines and “bucket list” experiences for the auction. “Those experiences will create memories, which is very much what Hospice is about too, reflected in their motto ‘Living Every Moment’,” she says.“It would be fantastic if we could meet or better the $70,000 we raised last time. We know a lot is asked of our community – for them to support a number of worthy organisations, and we really appreciate those who chose to support Hospice.”
Tickets for the March 9 event will be limited to just 200 and are expected to sell out quickly. “We have huge support from our sponsors who like to host guests and employees,” says Ms Penny.
Hospice Tairawhiti general manager Barbara Grout says plans around the new building are progressing. “We’re close to a decision about where the new building will be sited,” says Mrs Grout. All money raised through Celebrate would go into the fund which has been growing since the 2016 event through funding allocation and donations. It is estimated it could cost up to $3 million. “It is very important to me that we find that balance between something that is good for the future, what the community needs but also what can be afforded,” says Mrs Grout. “We are building with growth in mind.” The new building project will help take the region’s palliative care services to a new level of excellence. “But we also hope it will change people’s perception about death and dying. We don’t want it to be a hushed subject, but rather something that is talked about, understood and regarded as a stage of life that is just as important as all the other stages. Dying is a part of life.”