Walk With Us trustees Janet Taylor and Jenny Bates, left, with Mike Pero's, from left, Craig Hamilton, Mitchell Wilson, Katarina Campbell, Michelle Westrupp and Helen Ruston at Mike Pero's Richmond office on Monday. Photo: Simon Bloomberg.

Charity raises $30k for kids


The generosity of the business community was highlighted when people gave, and then gave some more, to help Nelson Tasman charity Walk With Us raise almost $30,000 to help put shoes on the region’s kids.

Walk with Us was formed in 2013 and has so far provided over 300 free pairs of school and sports shoes for children, aged between five and 13, from families in need.

The trust is run by volunteers and last Thursday held a fund-raising auction at the Waimea Old Boys clubrooms with author of The Resilient Farmer Doug Avery as guest speaker.

Trustee Jenny Bates says they had a long list of generous sponsors donating items for the auction night and some of them were happy to go the extra mile for the charity.

All the items were popular but when bidding heated-up for a motorhome holiday and a helicopter flight, the sponsors who donated the items doubled their original offer to make sure no one missed out.

“There were two people bidding for the holiday in the motorhome so Tony Terrell (owner of Discover NZ Motorhomes) put his hand up and said he’d donate another one,” Jenny says.

“The same thing happened for the 30 minute helicopter flight – Craig Boote didn’t need any convincing to double his donation which was a lovely gesture.”

The live auction raised about $22,500 with other big-ticket items including a free year’s gym membership at the Richmond Aquatic Centre and an Abel Tasman cruise for 20 people aboard the FV Transition.

Two businesses Aimex/Hydraulink and Mike Pero Real Estate helped out announcing significant cash donations to the charity.

Jenny says Doug also played a role, refusing to accept any payment for his appearance or his accommodation in Nelson.

“We were overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity,” Jenny says. “This will help pay for enough shoes to last quite a while.”