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Ready, steady, Christmas shop

A full trolley, ready for Christmas. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

FRANKIE FINN REASON

It was a lucky day for Masterton’s Lynne Carlyon when the winner of the Pak’n Save Trolley Grab raffle was drawn at the end of last week.

Carlyon is an independent travel broker at NZ Travel Brokers in Masterton and was thrilled to be chosen in the draw.

She had bought three tickets to support Alzheimer’s Wairarapa and was working when the call came through to say that she’d won.

“It was incredible,” she said, “it ended the year on quite a high.”

The grab took place at 7.30am on Wednesday before Pak’n Save had opened to the public, and a host of people turned out in support.

A police constable was on hand overseeing the event, as well as representatives from Alzheimer’s Wairarapa, Pak’n Save owners Andrew and Natalie Summerville, and Santa, all the way from the North Pole.

Carlyon had a friend on hand to help her throw things into the trolley, but although she had a plan of action she said it was difficult to pull it off in just 90 seconds.

When the clock started, she raced through the gates and immediately collected a few boxes of Christmas chocolates from the display to her left, before heading towards the hams.

With her Christmas lunch secured, she shot down through to the wines, where owner Andrew Summerville was waiting to hand her a few bottles of their best.

Jude Clark of Alzheimer’s Wairarapa, who spearheaded the raffle alongside Trevor Martin, echoed Carlyon’s sentiments about the event.

“After all the tough times in 2020, to end the year on such a high, the whole campaign was just joyful.”

Carlyon would have had a challenging year in her work as an independent travel broker.

Closed borders would have meant grounded planes, and fewer travellers, but she said, “I managed to keep my business going, I was coaching swimming too!”.

She kept herself busy and was very humble about the difficulties she must have faced.

The $9000 raised in the raffle would all go towards a new van for Alzheimer’s Wairarapa.

Jude Clark said a team of two volunteers, their driver, and several clients were just 10 minutes outside Masterton when “the radiator spat the dummy, and the engine seized”.

They were gearing themselves to wait on the roadside until a second van and a tow truck could rescue them, when a man named Rick saved the day.

He invited them into his home where he treated them to country music and warm cups of tea, which settled the understandably disturbed Alzheimer’s sufferers.

“Rick was a hero,” Clark said.

Unfortunately, vans suitable for the purposes of a care organisation such as Alzheimer’s Wairarapa can cost from $50,000 to $70,000, and so a host of fundraisers such as quiz nights, and the raffle were soon under way.

One or two generous private donations were also made, and Clark was pleased to confirm that after Wednesday’s success they now had the finances to go shopping.

She spoke on behalf of Wairarapa Alzheimer’s in expressing how grateful she was for the community’s support.

She marvelled that even passers-through would buy tickets and let her know that if they won, they wanted their ticket donated to the Masterton Foodbank, or to the community Christmas lunch.

One ticketholder asked that, should they win, someone fill the trolley with pet food on their behalf and donate it to the SPCA.

Overall, Clark said that the event was a massive success.

“We needed the money, we need it for the community, we want to provide them with support, so let’s go!”

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