Field of golden blooms for charity


Maia Mareko-Thornton, left, with Keira Webley, Hayley Stevens, and Tahlia James, from...
Maia Mareko-Thornton, left, with Keira Webley, Hayley Stevens, and Tahlia James, from Christchurch visited the South Eyre Sunflowers field near Oxford. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP
A field of golden blooms at South Eyre Sunflowers is proving to be a fundraising gem for the charities it is supporting this year.

All money raised from the entry fee to the field and sales of the sunflowers, plus donations, will be donated to the Oxford community and Gumboot Friday.

This year’s fundraising goal of $21,500 has already been achieved after large numbers of visitors flocked to pick blooms and take photographs on a scorching hot day last Sunday.

The signs for a bumper fundraiser this year were good when on the first day of opening last month, $1484 was collected, which was an increase of $1404 on last year’s opening day.

There is roadside parking available and the field is open 24/7 to allow for sunrise and sunset photographs and videos to be taken.

Anna Eves, of Rolleston, a repeat visitor to the field said she loved sunflowers, and the money being raised was for a good cause.

Other visitors said they enjoyed visiting the field, and picking the flowers, because it was relaxing and looking at the large colourful blooms made them feel happy.

The picturesque sunflower display has also proved a huge drawcard for professional and amateur photographers.

Everyone who visits, it seems, wants to take a photo or have their photo taken by a professional photographer in the field of sunflowers and many of their images can be seen on the South Eyre Sunflowers Facebook page.

The organisers of the South Eyre Sunflowers fundraiser say they are overwhelmed by the support the initiative has received.

‘‘Thank you for supporting this project from the bottom of our hearts,’’ they say.

Despite the popularity of the sunflowers the huge field on the corner of South Eyre Road and Domain Road, near Oxford, where the sea of gold is impossible to miss, there are still thousands of blooms still to be picked.

The field will remain open until all the blooms are gone.

However, the organisers say with the heat being experienced earlier in the week, they won’t last long.

‘‘We will be very lucky to get many more weekends before they wilt.’’

By Shelley Topp