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A charitable trust made up of Otago residents, the Koru Care Trust was formed in 1988. Each year they organise trips to the Gold Coast for children who may be disabled, have complex medical issues or have experienced significant trauma in their lives.
“A child's smile can turn any bad day upside down,” Koru Care Otago chairperson Carmen Lobb wrote.
“We are committed to those smiles, changing tomorrow by helping however we can today. Some of these children would never have the opportunity to travel.”
Koru Care Otago provides airfares, accommodation, meals, Theme Park visits, medical support and 24-hour care.
The Trust is 100% reliant on help from the community to make the trips possible, and all funds raised in Otago go towards Otago children.
This year's trip was in late November, and cost around $30,000. Helping them meet that figure was a $5000 donation presented by Dunedin Casino general manager Karen Williams to the Trust at September's Dunedin Young Professionals Koru Care Otago Ball.
Dunedin Casino also donated prizes for the charity auction held at the event — two evenings in its Room 118 tapas and cocktail bar, with a value of $2500.
“This opportunity is a holiday of a lifetime for these children and you have a gone a long way in helping us do that,” Carmen Lobb recently wrote to the Dunedin Casino. “We hope to create great memoryies for these children and you have helped make this experience possible.”