In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 39

Today, as well as boasting a healthy membership, the club also enjoys a high, and positive, profile within its community. breakfast, overseeing retail at the biennial three-day Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow, and catering at the two-day Wanaka A & P Show. Members put a priority on staying in touch and in the public eye through everything from selling food at community events, to showcasing ShelterBoxes and Emergency Response Kits at the Wanaka Home and Garden Show. “Many of our fundraisers involve food and, without chef Clayton Hope and his fantastic catering management skills, I’m sure we wouldn’t be nearly as successful in these endeavours. One of our younger members is also a chef, and he’s now taking the lead in some areas, so it’s great to have such skill sets on hand,” Margaret says “We also publish news about the club at least monthly, ensure we have media at all fundraising events, send a steady stream of photos and articles to the local print media and maintain a current Facebook page, as well as promoting ourselves through online media like the Wanaka App.” The club’s fundraising calendar has three major fixtures: catering for the Challenge Wanaka athletes’ “To make these fundraisers successful, we make sure we have good leaders running the different aspects of the work required. Members and families are incredibly generous with their time, and we wouldn’t succeed or still be doing these fundraisers if it wasn’t for the extra volunteers who answer our call.” Feeding the masses a fundraising winner A chance query has seen the Rotary Club of Wanaka pool its talents and resources during the past decade to become the caterer of choice to several major events – a fundraising venture that’s proved lucrative, a ‘win-win’ for the local community and a barrel of fun to boot. Organisers of the World Air Games, held in the town back in 2007, contacted the club in the lead-up to ask whether the Rotarians were interested in catering. By chance, former chef Clayton Hope was on the fundraising committee at the time the approach was made, and immediately saw the potential. “Up until that stage, we’d just been cooking in our chip van at events, but the profits were getting smaller, and the risk was getting bigger because we ns. Wanaka Rotaria Food glorious food Fun times with were completely reliant on sales and who turned up,” he says. “I could see this style of higher-end catering was a better way to make more out of our fundraising efforts, and with way less risk.” So, with Clayton, who’s worked in the food industry for nearly 25 years, leading the charge, the Wanaka club accepted the challenge, catering at the Games for more than 300 at breakfast, morning tea, lunch and dinner over the three-day event. At $20,000, the return, he says, was great, and the response just as impressive – including an invitation to cook for 1000-plus at Challenge Wanaka’s post- event breakfast. Today, the old chip van is but a distant memory for the Wanaka Rotarians, who tantalise the Page 39