Central Leader : December 17th 2010
5 CENTRAL LEADER, DECEMBER 17, 2010 NEWS Weekend on water to forget woes By SCOTT MORGAN Christmas spirit: Mt Eden residents Katrina Hope and Graham Dalton have organised the Westpac Weekend on the Water for victims of the Canterbury earthquake. Photo: JASON OXENHAM ' I didn't know my neighbours when it happened. Then you're out in the street at 5am trying to figure out whether a tsunami is coming. ' Katrina Hope A group of Canterbury earth- quake victims can forget about their troubles this weekend thanks to the kind- ness of two Mt Eden residents. Katrina Hope and Graham Dalton have organised the Westpac Weekend on the Water getaway that will see about 30 Cantabrians flown to Auckland for a weekend of fun activities. Katrina, who's from Christ- church but lives in Auckland, was in the city at the time of the quake. I got thrown out of bed -- it was really traumatic and for a while I couldn't make any decisions. I didn't know my neigh- bours when it happened. Then you're out in the street at 5am trying to figure out whether a tsunami is coming.'' While she was able to travel north to escape the aftershocks and avoid think- ing about her damaged prop- erty, the self-defence instruc- tor says she wanted to do something for those who can't afford a holiday. There's so many people impacted by it -- we wanted to give them a whole weekend where they didn't have to think about anything,'' she says. There are some people coming that I would person- ally consider their circum- stances and what they've been through as dire. Then there are other people who've suffered a lot of damage to their property, but went out of their way to help other people.'' With the help of her part- ner Graham, the pair made phone calls and got sponsors on board to make the Week- end on the Water happen. Graham will host several guests on his yacht, the Kamikaze, along with several other sailors who have boats moored at Westhaven Marina. They'll stop for a picnic at Motuihe Island and visit Kelly Tarltons on Sunday before returning home. It's nice to be able to do something for someone at Christmas,'' he says. Christmas is meant to be a happy time and this way we can make it so much better for them.'' He says the response from sponsors has been amazing. Westpac is underwriting the event, Johnston's Coaches are providing trans- port, Air New Zealand the flights, the Copthorne Hotel is giving free accommodation and Westfield is donating Christmas presents. Usually if you're putting a deal together, for every one person that says yes, there are two or three that say no. But this has been a 100 percent strike rate.'' Westpac South Island regional manager Gina Del- labarca says it wasn't a hard decision to support the initiative. The past few months have been extremely tough for many Cantabrians. The Weekend on the Water is about letting them know they haven't been for- gotten and to give them a break away.''
December 15th 2010
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