Car Company owner Shane Drummond, centre, with members of the Stoke Community Centre, who were given $5000 as part of the $10,000 Car Company Charity Drive. Photo: Andrew Board.

Community gets $10K

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The Car Company $10,000 Charity Drive had to step outside its brief on Friday – giving away more than $10,000 and splitting the money between more than just one group.

The big winners were the Stoke Community Centre, which came away with $5000, and the Nelson South Swim Club, which was given $4000 cash as well as an advertising package worth $3500, thanks to Mediaworks Nelson and Nelson Weekly.

But the other three finalists that gathered on Friday morning to hear the final results, didn’t leave empty-handed either.

The Food for Families Trust and Pinnacle House Trust each walked away with $1000 and the Tasman Music Trust was given $500.

Car Company owner Shane Drummond says the charity drive was a fantastic way to give to the community and he was blown away with the 59 entries to the competition.

“There was a great cross-section and obviously plenty of need out there, so it was great to be able to help these groups.”

The Car Company $10,000 Charity Drive was devised to flip requests for sponsorship on its head. Shane says he would get hundreds of requests for sponsorship each year so decided to run the competition to see which was the most worthy.

Entries were whittled down to five finalists and each of the finalists spoke to the judging panel last week. The judges – Shane, Mediaworks Nelson general manager Christine Hatton, Nelson Weekly editor Andrew Board and independent judge Tracey Black – then picked their winners.

Manager of the Stoke Community Centre, Ruth Ryan, was clearly shocked when the announcement was made and says it will go a long way to helping the group. “I’m so stoked, it’s amazing. We were happy just to make the top five but to win it was just ‘wow’.”

Ruth says the money will be used to buy a “desperately needed” commercial freezer to house some of the food they cook for their members.

The Stoke Community Centre has 450 members and Ruth says many of its members had been praying for them to win. “We’d like to thank them for their prayers and to Shane for putting up the money. It’s an amazing thing to do.”

Nic Foster of the Nelson South Swim Club says the group was thrilled with what they won. “This is going to make a real difference to our community facility. It’s widely used and we really want to increase that and get more people using it.”

He says the money will go towards inflatable pool attractions and furniture that will help attract people to the pool in summer months, and the advertising will go towards promoting the facility as a destination. “We’ve been given a gift and with it we can pass on the gift of swimming.”