Remembrance kicks in for appeal

Cr Lee Vandervis (rear, second from left) watches pupils from the Waikouaiti Primary School kapa...
Cr Lee Vandervis (rear, second from left) watches pupils from the Waikouaiti Primary School kapa haka group perform at the Meridian in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Whether motivated by civic duty, by a desire to avoid a second public gaffe or just by a nice piece of cake, Cr Lee Vandervis managed to remember to attend his second public engagement yesterday.

Cr Vandervis was Mayor Dave Cull's representative at the opening of the 2010 Wishing Tree Appeal in Dunedin, days after he forgot to attend a Remembrance Sunday church service on behalf of Mr Cull.

Yesterday, he was at Dunedin's Meridian well before the 11am opening ceremony, and joked to the Otago Daily Times upon arrival: "You can go home - I made it."

Cr Vandervis was given the honour of cutting a Christmas cake and presenting the first gift on behalf of the city to launch yesterday's charity appeal, and praised organisers for their event.

The nationwide appeal is running for the 16th time this year, and has so far collected 220,000 gifts from members of the public across New Zealand to distribute to the less fortunate, Kmart organiser Dawn Barnes-Gardner said.

Dunedin's appeal collected 2000 gifts last year but aimed to gather 2500 this year, she said.

The gifts would be distributed as they came in, until the appeal closed on Christmas Eve.

At yesterday's launch, children from the Pine Hill Children's Centre placed gifts under the tree and pupils from the Waikouaiti Primary School kapa haka group performed a karakia.

 

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