Celebrity Debate a fundraiser for community hall

The Oturehua Hall will host a fundraising ‘‘Celebrity Debate’’ tonight at 7pm, an event made...
The Oturehua Hall will host a fundraising ‘‘Celebrity Debate’’ tonight at 7pm, an event made possible by a range of people, including (from left) John Hellier, Amie Pont, Ken Gillespie and Bill May. The tussocks in the background will be among the items for auction. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON
The notion that "We would rather be yuppies than yokels'' will be up for debate in Oturehua tonight.

Debaters will take to the stage to share their thoughts on the subject in a fun, comedic and controversial fashion to help raise funds for the hall's upkeep.

Broadcaster and columnist Jim Hopkins, former Act Party MP Hilary Calvert and Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan will be in the line-up.

Gerry Eckhoff, who farmed sheep and beef near Roxburgh who is also a former Act Party MP, will join them, along with National MP for the Waitaki electorate Jacqui Dean and Ranfurly veterinarian Michael Lilley, who won the New Zealand Young Farmer of the Year title in 2012.

Maniototo campaigner and supporter Amie Pont will be master of ceremonies and district court judge Rosemary Riddell will retain her title of judge for the evening.

There will also be live and silent auctions for a wide range of items, including sports memorabilia, a holiday package, rail trail package, garden package, including tussocks, and Grahame Sydney artworks, among much more.

Money raised at the event will go towards the upkeep of the hall, which is owned and maintained by the community.

Although the Central Otago District Council does nor subsidise the hall, it does provide some funding to help maintain an adjoining toilet block.

Event organisers are keen to get as many people as possible along, which ultimately benefits the many groups who use the hall throughout the year, while also safeguarding its future.

The first Oturehua Hall, which is now the supper room, was built in July 1906 by James Mitchell, of Ranfurly.

In 1926 the hall was moved back slightly, away from the main road, so a larger hall could be built in front and joined to the original building.

It has since hosted a range of groups and functions, including badminton evenings, book launches, Christmas parties, bonspiel evening dinners, garage sales and birthday parties.

 •Tickets to the Celebrity Debate are available from Gilchrist's Store, Oturehua; Muddy Creek Cafe, Omakau; and More than Books, Ranfurly.

There will also be door sales if the debate is not sold out beforehand.


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