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From left: Ali Howie, Harminder Chahal and Chris Moody with the food donation paid for by the Nugget Multisport and Waihī New World. Photo: ALICE PARMINTER

Winter windfall for Waihī community groups 

The annual Waihī Nugget multisport festival, which ran on May 13, is distributing its profits from the race to community groups around Waihī. 

“We raised $13,000 on the day of the event to give back to the community, and we are distributing that amongst local groups as much as possible,” race organiser Ali Howie said.

“[The race is] a bit of a fundraiser for the community, supporting the community and raising awareness, but also about bringing people to Waihī and them realising what a cool town it is.”

One group, the Salvation Army, has received $2000 worth of shelf-stable bulk foods, after the initial $1000 Nugget foundation donation was matched by Waihī New World. 

“I went to talk to the owner of NW, saying ‘hey look, I’m going to order 50 each of these items, it’s going to be worth $1000,”  Ali said. 

“And he said, ‘well, I’ll match it’.”

New World owner Harminder Chahal said he was happy to contribute.  

“Everybody deserves to eat, have something on the table,” he said. 

“If people need it, they need it, it’s not their fault they’re in that predicament you know? You’ve got to be able to help where you can.”

Salvation Army Corps Officer Chris Moody said the donation was a boon to their food bank at a time when many people were struggling. 

“Waihī has a lot of need. Sponsorship from the Nugget foundation plus our local supermarket … it’s really cool that they want to support the local community.”

The other major beneficiaries of this year’s race are Sport n Action, who received $5000 towards the Morgan Park sports complex, Waihī LandSAR who received $2000 and the Waihī Beach surf lifesaving club, which has been given $1500. 

The Waihī Lions and St Johns Waihī each received $1000, while $500 each was distributed to the Waihī Beach coastguard, Westpac Helicopter, and the Māori wardens. 

By ALICE PARMINTER, Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air