Maungaturoto Community Charitable Trust chair, Craig Fergus

A bonfire for dementia

by Paul Campbell

A gala bonfire night along with a flurry of other activity is headed towards the community fundraising target to complete the construction of Maungaturoto’s Riverview Rest Home dementia unit.

The 14-bed dementia unit is to cost $3.6 million, and of that amount, local funding of $500,000 was sought, of which $200,000 plus has been raised in community initiatives around Kaipara, leaving a final target of about $300,000.

A bonfire night spectacular hosted by Otamatea Marae is set for November 24.

“The idea of bonfire night was created by myself and my husband back in 2014 as a fundraiser at our marae,” said organiser Cindy Hempsall. “So it has escalated into a way for our people of Otamatea Marae and surroundings, to support on another level with the dementia unit being the focus.”

“Bonfire night is all about kotahitanga (being as one, united). Bouncy castles, merry-go-rounds, lots of stalls and entertainment, with the highlight being the bonfire.

“Everyone is allowed to bring their own fireworks. The marae sits on the beachfront of the beautiful, mighty Kaipara, so the setting alone is enough to want to be there.”

Entry is adults $5, child 5 years to 13, $2, under-five free and is a cash-only event. All entry proceeds will be donated to the dementia unit.

Meanwhile leading fundraiser, Albie Paton who runs The Den sales of donated goods says with $75,000 raised so far, he expects to make it $100,000 by Christmas.

“Other events on the way to Christmas are community breakfasts, at the Mangawhai Club on November 14 with seating for 200 with tickets at $20, and another set for Maungaturoto. There is also a House and Garden tour on February 20 Kaipara homes.

Chair of the Maungaturoto Community Charitable Trust, Craig Fergus says “the community response has been fantastic with different community groups coming to the trust and offering to run a fundraising event. From meat raffles at the pub, community bonfires, home and garden tours to the incredible achievements of The Den — every effort is appreciated.”