Planning for the Wanaka-based extravaganza began in earnest nearly two years ago , at a time when the venue, the new Wanaka Recreation Centre, was still under construction. of speakers the conference has attracted, or to have added the special touches that promise to make this conference one to remember. “We have loved having Avalon waterways as a sponsor from previous 9980 conferences, in Mt Cook and The Rotary Club of Wanaka is also Invercargill, and we are excited offering a billet-style “bed and to have them on board again breakfast”, so visitors can stay at the this year. home of a fellow Rotarian instead of “Firstly, Rotary will be the first “Harraway & Sons, of Dunedin, booking accommodation. organisation to stage a major has also come to the party. Anyone interested can email event at the new centre. It’s Harraways source oats from firstname.lastname@example.org new territory for Wanaka, Otago and Southland where including information such as age and because, although there are conditions are excellent for interests, and conference organisers many high-profile weddings growing quality oats, so it’s a will do their best to match out-of- and sporting events, the nice fit for District 9980.” towners with a like-minded Rotarian. number of people attending Locals are getting right into has traditionally been restricted the spirit of the conference, to 250 for a seated dinner, she says, with many small whereas the new centre can seat 600.” businesses having already put up prizes for the likes of With the support of the club, the community, speakers the early-bird registrations. and sponsors, 2017’s conference, which runs from May “There are many Rotarians who are supporting the 12 to 14, is shaping up to be one of the best yet, she conference through their own business, too, and we says. shouldn’t underestimate the hours they donate to For partners not wishing to attend the main conference make the conference great.” programme, the organising committee has carefully “And, we’re also involving the groups we’ve helped over crafted an entertaining and interesting day in and the years – students from Mt Aspiring College in the around Wanaka, taking in some of the town’s most welcome, and the Wanaka Volunteer Fire Brigade will popular attractions. be staffing the bar.” “They’re going to join the “fun bus” and be taken to visit Aiming to attract between 350 and 450 Rotarians to the new Cardrona Whiskey Distillery; be inspired by the conference, Deb’s great wish is that all who attend some award-winning Wanaka homes – including one leave invigorated. that’s not normally open to the public – be intrigued by the Illusion Room at Puzzling World, and, finish with “Simply put, I would love to see everyone depart wine and canapés at the spectacular Rippon Vineyard.” conference truly inspired to go out and make our world a better place … and, maybe, to have made a new Deb has paid tribute to the sponsors, without whom it would not have been possible to put up the calibre friend or two along the way.” As well as being a big deal for the Rotary Club of Wanaka – it’s the first conference the club has hosted – it’s significant for the whole community. LOSE S C REGISTRATION FRIDAY, MAY 5 We’re ready for you! Deb Budden, conference manager, Rosie Burridge, programme manager, Shirley Armstrong, registration manager, Don Irvine, Rotary International guests and speech competition co-ordinator, and Peter Harridge, of the speaker sub-committee.