Mike Smales with cattle donated to the dementia unit cause

Stock drive for dementia unit

by Paul Campbell

The concrete floors are down, and the Maungaturoto Community Charitable Trust is expecting its $3.6 million Riverview Rest Home dementia unit to be up and roofed-in by February, while fundraising continues with a Kaipara stock drive.

”The latest on the funding front has seen another magnificent cheque for $40,000, from The Den, the former Scout Hall in Bickerstaffe Road where community fundraiser Albie Paton and his team sell donated goods, and that amount included a $5,000 anonymous donation from an individual,” said trust chair, Craig Fergus.

“To reach our building target, we have some $300,000 to go, and there is some innovative fundraising in the pipeline.”

Leading the way is a stock drive organised by Golden Stairs beef and sheep farmer, Mike Smales.

We have a bit of a subcommittee going and are after livestock donations to the dementia unit cause, weaners, boners, sheep, we have already received $20,000 worth of cattle to go to the sales. Any farmers who can also contribute can contact me on 021 431 682.”

Fundraising has also become a family affair, with Mike’s wife Karen helping to organise a Dahlias for Dementia garden tour of notable Kaipara properties in the New Year.

Mr Paton is also investigating another ‘town breakfast’ event, possibly in Mangawhai, following the successful launch of the concept in Maungaturoto earlier this year.

“Perhaps another Maungi event might be on the cards too,” he says.

The 14-bed dementia unit is sorely needed, with a shortage of such facilities that will just get worse as time passes. Almost 70,000 Kiwis are living with dementia today, and more than 170,000 will be living with dementia by 2050 with the cost to the country now around $1.7 billion that will reach around $5 billion by 2050.