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Overwhelming Support for Enterprise Russell

Overwhelming Support for Enterprise Russell

Community gets right behind charitable trust

At a public meeting held in Russell last night a good turn out asked the Trustees of Enterprise Russell what could be done to continue the operation of the Community Communications Centre and the publication of the local newspaper, the 'Russell Lights'.

"Since this announcement I have had phone calls from overseas and around NZ," said Merv Dunn who had responded to the Trustees' decision that the two projects were not sustainable through the Bay of Islands winter, "reminding me that these are valuable initiatives for the community, and that we must do all we can to prevent these two from closing. Since I moved to Russell some twenty years ago I have seen too many of our services lost."

The Chairman of the Trust, Roger Wyatt, pointed out that the enterprise had to be viable and sustainable, and it would need further donations this winter of some $15,000 for the centre to continue. Over the summer the centre traded profitably and generated funds for the trust to further its aim of promoting the Russell district as a place providing quality of life and employment opportunities for residents.

Over the past few weeks some generous donations had been received.

"The community response has been amazing," said Jacqui Knight, Enterprise Russell's CEO. "One man is organising a Spit Roast this Sunday for Mothers Day, and the young people will hold a Sausage Sizzle this Saturday. These will be fun because people will be able to sit outside and enjoy the live band, part of the Country Rock Festival this weekend - and it will boost our funds further."

By the end of the evening several pledges of funding had been received and three local men had been appointed to review the trust's business activities and come up with a recovery plan which would then be put before the Trustees. This would be tabled at a public meeting to be held later in the month.

At the end of the evening Merv Dunn thanked the Trustees for being open to the ideas of the community. Those Trustees present agreed that it was a very encouraging response.

"We had come to our decision with heavy hearts," said Roger Wyatt, "but we would not have been acting as responsible Trustees if we had continued with these initiatives without being confident that we could pay our creditors at the end of another month's trading."

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