Walk With Us president Carol Shirley, right, and Richmond House of Travel’s Amanda Radovanovich talk shoes at House of Travel on Monday. Photo: Simon Bloomberg.

‘Resilient farmer’ to speak for charity

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‘Resilient farmer’ Doug Avery is going to be sharing his inspirational story of going from ‘president of the rural sad bastards’ club’ to author and motivational speaker, in Richmond on September 28.

Having weathered years of drought and depression, charismatic Doug’s story of how he turned his Marlborough farm and his life around is powerful and inspiring.

Doug has got in behind Nelson charity Walk with Us, and will be speaking at their auction to raise funds to help put shoes on young people.

In their first three years of operation the charity has provided almost 300 pairs of shoes and boots and have recently established a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“As a mentor, I’ve seen first-hand the need for shoes in some of these families, and experienced the pleasure they get being able to play sport or do activities that other kids can,” says trust president Carol Shirley.

However, Carol says the need for good quality footwear by families financially struggling appears to be on the increase.

“We’re certainly seeing the need grow. We’ve given 100 pairs of shoes already this year,” she says.

Trustee Jenny Bates says they have been fortunate to have many repeat generous sponsors donating items for the auction night, which is the charity’s annual fundraiser.

“We are hugely dependent on, and grateful for, the support of local businesses and individuals.”

Carol says the event gets bigger and better each year.

Doug will be sharing his story of strength and new-found happiness, there will be live and silent auctions, canapés, a cash bar and Doug’s book, ‘The Resilient Farmer’, will be available for purchase.

Some of the ‘big ticket’ items up for grabs on the night are, a Sydney holiday package including four night’s accommodation, a Discover New Zealand seven day, four-berth campervan hire, a luxury Abel Tasman day trip for 20 people including canapés, and a 12-month CLM Health and Fitness gym membership.

The Walk with Us charity auction night is Thursday, September 28, at Waimea Old Boys’ clubrooms. Tickets are $20 (including canapés), and are available from Richmond Mall, Stirling Sport Nelson, Nelson Weekly and Whitwell’s.