Sunshine and a Plate’s all wrapped up.

The Air Chathams Sunshine and a Plate food festival finished on the 3rd of March with their finale, a Buko Popup Restaurant with a three course, specially created and never-to-be repeated menu designed by award winning Chef William Mordido.

The last competition of the festival is the raffle for the Chatham Islands holiday, which was drawn Friday 15th March at 9.30am live on 1xx radio and over 1200 tickets are in the draw. The winning ticket was #0424 and they were contacted live on air.

The Hospice staff and board are very pleased with the overall outcome, with new achievements on many fronts. “The goals of Sunshine and a plate are to raise awareness of Hospice and its $500,000 annual shortfall, to give back to the community for their ongoing support, and to raise vital funds so that Hospice can continue its free service. It’s about showing the community we are about celebrating life and living every moment.” Said CEO Peter Bassett.

“On these fronts we are really grateful, having had a social media reach of over 33,000 individuals and such strong support from local media 1xx, q97 & Bayrock and the Whakatane Beacon, Eastern Bay Life and Opotiki News which has helped us raise awareness for Hospice.”

With attendance at Sunshine and a Plate events totalling over the 2000 mark, and having worked with nearly 100 businesses, groups and individuals involved in the events, Fundraising Manager Anna Meredith said “we have seen how much the community enjoys these events, and feel like this festival has brought us closer to the wider community and show what can be achieved when we work together. We can’t thank all the groups and individuals enough for how much they have given in support of Hospice.”

The festival brought people in to the Eastern Bay of Plenty – with 9.9% of ticket buyers coming from outside of the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The events drew EBoP residents from Waihau Bay through to Murupara, and had a number of attendees from Wellington, Auckland, Waikato the wider Bay of Plenty and as far as the UK. In addition to this, Hospice was told by a number of attendees that they came from out of town but their local friends bought tickets for them.

Ms Meredith says another goal was added this year “We wanted to minimise our environmental footprint. This year’s gourmet markets achieved a landfill diversion rate of 96.4%, thanks to the amazing work by Waste Zero Whakatane, Waste Management & the Whakatane District Council.”

In addition to the Air Chathams Holiday Raffle, there were a number of auction prize donations by local businesses, which added to the fundraising success. Mr Bassett said “we are delighted at the success of the zero commission property sale offered by Harcourts Whakatane which received a number of bids through the week and the winning bid being $6,800. Harcourts also sponsored an event, provided a team of volunteers and sold 100 raffle tickets for Hospice EBOP.”

The festival consisted of 8 events plus the annual DC3 scenic tours offered by Air Chathams. From Whiskey tastings to a Ladies Lunch, themed nights with French and Mexican food, Gourmet Food market at the Whakatane heads and the Buko restaurant, events were well received and attended. The newest addition to the lineup was a Black and White Themed Ball which had rave reviews.

“This year we sent out a feedback survey to all our ticket buyers and were overwhelmed with positive messages.” Said Ms Meredith. “Overall, we had a fantastic rating for value for money, quality and quantity of food and drink, entertainment, and had the chance to hear about people’s experiences and build on this to continue growing and improving too.”

A few of the quotes for feedback given were:

About the flight: “the whole experience was completely amazing, great flight!!”

About the ball

“The band was excellent and had everyone up dancing. The venue was decorated really well and it was a great night out”

“THE WHOLE EVENING WAS TOP NOTCH!!!! ....great music, food and beverage, decorations,entertainment , auction,dancing ,buses and FUN ...we would go again in a heartbeat!!! So well done…. hope you make lots of very necessary funds for SUCH a worthwhile cause CHEERS!!!!!!”