Sporting Icons Swing in Behind our Cyclone Relief Fund

  • The winning team from Golf for Hawke’s Bay event

A celebrity studded golf fundraising drive and auction dinner in Hamilton has raised over $70 thousand for Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s Cyclone Relief Fund.

The event held last Thursday at Hamilton’s St. Andrew’s Golf Club drew a high profile card of 22 teams and 88 players including sporting names: former Black Cap captain Ross Taylor, All Black Anton Lienert-Brown and a team from the NZ Warriors.

Organisers behind the day and personal friends Ross Taylor and former Hawke’s Bay Racing CEO Andrew Castles are ecstatic with the support the day garnered.

“Both Ross and I were blown away with the support from everyone we asked to be involved, whether it was to enter a team, supply a raffle prize or an auction item. After researching a number of avenues for our donation to go to we settled on Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s Cyclone Relief Fund as it is a highly respected local organisation with “boots on the ground.”

Hawke’s Bay Foundation Executive Officer Amy Bowkett is grateful for the recognition.

“Fundraising initiatives like this are super effective ways for communities both locally and outside the region, to help recovery efforts. What Andrew and Ross have done is truly wonderful and we’re grateful they chose us as a trusted vehicle to give to.”

For Andrew (Butch) Castles, having his wife Tess involved in the organisation of the day and close friend Ian Smith broadcasting his radio show from the venue they kept ‘a laser focus’ on raising money for those in need in Hawke’s Bay.

“Raising $70 thousand was an incredible result and I think illustrates the depth of feeling in different parts of New Zealand for those in Hawke’s Bay who have suffered in so many ways. It also shows how many people have a connection back to Hawke’s Bay and a fond affection for the place. The biggest benefactor at the auction is someone who grew up in the province but now lives in Auckland. There is a little bit of The Bay in most of us!”

St. Andrew’s Golf Course waived the day’s tournament fees for the cause with $16,500 raised from golfing team entries and a further $53,500 from the auction. Appropriately it was a team of Hawke’s Bay lads who took out play on the day.

“Angus Schaw, Jake Smith, Hamish Lewis and Sam Jenkins are a fine bunch of young guys who wanted to be part of the day. I have known Jake Smith for a long time and played cricket with Angus Schaw’s father Colin. Their teammates Hamish Lewis and Sam Jenkins are proud “Bay Boys” who now live outside the region but still have that massive tie to the province they grew up in. I was stoked they burned up the St Andrew’s course and fired an amazing score under the Ambrose conditions of the tournament.”