$25,000 boost for St John

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St John administrator Sherry Wootton and executive officer Elaine Vallender take a breather during the fete which raised around $25,000 for the district?s operation.
Heneghan siblings Abbie, 8, Conor, 12, Richie, 6 and Ivan, 10, enjoying supporting stallholders and St John during the garden fete.
St John front line officer Veronica Engelbrecht and health shuttle?s Gill Harris welcoming people to the fundraiser garden fete.

The St John Ashburton garden fete, held in the sprawling, picturesque grounds of Rakaia Gardens, raised around $25,000 for the district’s operation.

St John runs a number of community health initiatives – along with the ambulance service in the district – and had planned a number of fundraising projects to boost the coffers.

The fete, with more than 70 stallholders selling food, clothing, jewellery, beauty products and household goods, giftware and plants drew a steady stream of people. Many from outside the district.

St John Ashburton executive officer Elaine Vallender was blown away by the support of the community not just those who attended or had stalls, but Rakaia Lions Club members who were busy on the gate, businesses who donated prizes for raffles and garden owners Sue and Ted Rollinson who went all out to have the garden looking magnificent.

“We are very, very pleased,” Mrs Vallender said.

The gardens looked wonderful and the Rollinsons even took early morning coffee out to the stallholders, she said.

“We are thrilled with the support from the local Mid Canterbury community, both in attending the fete and donations from local businesses … we are over the moon.” It included a “very generous donation of $5000 from the Rakaia Lions”.

“We are indebted to Sue and Ted Rollinson for sharing their beautiful gardens with us and allowing us to take over,” she said.

“It was a great team effort … there was great support from many other people.”

Mrs Vallender and St John administrator Sherry Wootton put in many hours as event co-ordinators at the very busy, fun and worthwhile event.