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Raffle brings a touch of magic

A local woman’s big raffle win may prove there is such a thing as magic.

Jude Kernahan, owner of Hey Jude Boutique in Kuripuni, started to [unintentionally] weave her spell to win the first prize of the Masterton Lions monster raffle in aid of the new Wellington Free Ambulance [WFA] station in Masterton on her walking commute to work one morning.

Kernahan told the Times-Age that when she first spied the 2023 Ford Puma ST-Line hybrid car, sponsored by Fagan Motors, parked up on the side of the road, she thought, “Oh, that looks really good. It might be worth getting a ticket.”

Several days later, the car was parked “right outside my shop”, and she enquired about the ticket cost.

“I said I’d go away and have a wee think, and I thought, ‘Well, $100 is such a good donation, and if ever I need the free ambulance, then I know I’ve contributed’.”

She resolved to buy a ticket if a customer paid her $100 in cash.

“And about half an hour later, they did.”

The magic didn’t stop there.

Kernahan underlined the first prize on her ticket and wrote “Me, Jude” next to the car’s description before tucking it away for safekeeping.

When she showed her ticket to Lions’ member Gary Pickering, who had the happy job of informing Kernahan she’d won the car, Kernahan said she “had totally forgotten I had done all that, totally, and I was surprised at that”.

As Pickering delivered the news, Kernahan had an inkling it would be good.

“So in my heart, I was like, ‘Is he going to tell me I’ve won that car?’ Because I would look at it occasionally and go, ‘I’m going to win that’, but then it would go out of my mind.”

For Kernahan, winning the car couldn’t come at a better time.

When she had to relocate her business from Featherston to Kuripuni a couple of years ago, her car died.

While she chose not to replace it immediately, travelling instead by public transport and taxi, her future plans depend on being mobile.

“I want to expand my business next year – I’m a stylist and want to do one-to-one consults with people – so I need a vehicle to go and do that. The need is there, but the want is there as well. I love driving, I love the freedom of movement.

“So this is magic, just total magic.”

Kernahan wasn’t the only one manifesting success. A man from Pahiatua and a local couple each bought a pair of tickets, both of which scored prizes in the draw.

All one thousand tickets sold for the draw – which had a total prize value of over $64,000 – in what Pickering described as the “biggest raffle Lions have ever been involved in”.

“It’s been an absolute honour”, Pickering said. “We are here to serve our community, and to be able to do it in such a tangible way is just absolutely amazing.”

The raffle raised just over $60,000 for WFA’s new Masterton station, the concrete foundations for which have just been laid, WFA’s Wairarapa community liaison Cheryl Watson, said.

Another $500,000 is needed to reach WFA’s target.

The prize draw has been “an amazing experience”, Watson said, and she is gratified by the positive feedback about WFA that the Lions received from people buying tickets.

“We are very grateful to the community. As we say, the station is being built by the community, for the community.”

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