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Generous food and wine lovers from throughout Lower Hutt and Wellington ate and drank their way through dishes prepared by some of the region’s leading restaurants at a charity lunch which raised a staggering $92,326 for Te Omanga Hospice at the weekend.
The organisation’s annual Bayleys Te Omanga Hospice Vintners’ Lunch dining extravaganza offered some 240 guests a sumptuous five-course meal supported by some of Wellington and Lower Hutt’s best chefs – with dishes created by Gusto Bistro, Duke Carvell’s, Hummingbird, Arbitrageur, Zibibbo, and Matterhorn – and each matched with delectable wine.
Two charity auctions were run in conjunction with the $150-a-head lunch held at Wellington Racing Course. Among some of the premium the lots up for auction were:
Te Omanga Hospice chief executive Biddy Harford said the generous donations and funds raised from the Bayleys Te Omanga Hospice Vintners’ Lunch would help support more than 600 patients who utilise the centre’s services and facilities. Additional companies which donated items for the major auction included Partridge Jewellers, Harfords Menswear, MediaWorks Radio, and Eurowine, while more than two dozen other corporates contributed items to the silent auction and the food and beverage service. Primary sponsor of the event was Bayleys Wellington.
“It’s amazing, that even in times of a recession, the generosity of Lower Hutt locals and Wellingtonians shines through to help us raise an unbelievable amount for this worthwhile oganisation. It is made possible by the goodwill of individuals and businesses within our local community, such as Bayleys, and I would like to thank them all as a group for their tremendous support,” Mrs Harford said.
“All contributions through ticket sales and the auctions will directly go toward funding the care and support delivered to patients and families on hospice programmes – underpinning the care provided by our specialist, professional staff,” Mrs Harford said.
Bayleys Te Omanga Hospice Vintners’ Lunch organising committee member Vanessa O’Reilly of Bayleys Wellington said the event guest list read like a ‘who’s who’ of the Lower Hutt and Wellington business community – reflecting the high standing with which the lunch was held. MC for the day was rugby commentating legend Keith Quinn.
“In fact, as sooner as lunch was over, we had some guests pre-booking for next year’s charity event,” Mrs O’Reilly said. “The spirit and camaraderie behind the organisation of this event – such as the chefs and their kitchen staff plating up five courses, and flowing through to the festive nature of guests enjoying the lunch itself - is like nothing I’ve seen before.
“The whole atmosphere bodes extremely well for the future of this event.”