During the 2018 NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival in Wanaka and Queenstown $4,195 was raised for our charitable causes. The Charitable Trust and registered charity that operates the Festival gives away money from this auction (as well as some funds from it’s National Tour) to three causes; funding youth in adventure skills training; support local environmental projects; and assist people with disabilities to buy specialist sporting equipment.
This year the Board of Trustees awarded funds to nine people/groups. First up was some outrigger skis for Kyle, a 10 years old with a disorder called the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (a degenerative nerve disease that affects both motor and sensory nerves). Because of this, Kyle uses a crutch to help him walk, and outriggers when he skis ($750).
Gemma Fletcher received $2,000 towards her new Hydra Sit-Ski. Gemma is campaigning towards the next Winter Paralympics as the first woman from NZ ever to compete. Jason Reid received $600 for Running on the Spectrum which helps kids with Autism into a running program and supplying them with new running shoes. The money with help 10 kids lives in the running program.
Kahu Youth – Youth versus Wild programme ($1,610). The programme encourages and supports young people to develop survival skills, confidence and self esteem. The activities include whitewater rafting, navigation, shelter building, knots, survival in the wild, ration packs, traps, snares, pack, layering, and environmental care. The project will run over six weeks and directly benefit 8 young people.
Makarora Trapping Group received support for a predator trapping program in an area around Makarora within Mt Aspiring National Park. Since 1997 the group has been working with DOC and has now built, set out, and currently maintain over 400 traps. There is a range of trap types installed, some which use rabbit and egg baits which are attractive to stoats, and others which are self-re-setting traps designed to catch rats and possums.
Megan Blackley of Wanaka received funding to attend an avalanche awareness course. Lake Hawea Guardians received funding for the Grandview Creek Riparian Zone. The group enhances the southern foreshore of Lake Hawea new native plantings.
Nick Mannix received $800 for a FreeWheel (a single large pneumatic castor that after attaching to a footplate of a wheelchair), allowing the user to easily cross rough ground that would otherwise be impossible.
Funds went to POET, a Hamilton based group that equips low decile secondary schools to facilitate the delivery of outdoor education experiences for students by building capability and sustainability in the school through professional development, mentoring of teachers and direct funding to ensure no student is excluded through a lack of financial means.