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Shotover Canyon Swing customers raise $8,450 for Uganda

Media release from Shotover Canyon Swing
May 12 2014


Shotover Canyon Swing customers raise $8,450 to help feed orphans in Uganda

Award-winning South Island tourism operator Shotover Canyon Swing has raised $8,450 in support of hungry orphans in Uganda as part of its annual charity fundraising campaign.

The tourism guru’s annual fundraiser, which ran from 10 April to 10 May in support of the cause, saw customers pay just $10 to complete an extra swing with all proceeds going to Orphans Aid International’s Imuka project.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Queenstown-based Orphans Aid International also supports orphans in Romania, Russia, India and Bhutan, while regularly giving to needs involving children in New Zealand.

The charity currently runs four op shops in Invercargill, South Dunedin, Hastings and Tauranga, as well as a fair trade shop in Queenstown.

Shotover Canyon Swing General Manager Matt Hollyer said the team were all amazed to discover how such a small amount of money could make such a huge difference to an orphan’s life in Uganda.

“It’s phenomenal how so little can go so far. As always our customers have stepped up -- or jumped off,” he said.

“Together we’ve raised enough money to supply food for one child for 1,690 weeks or to feed just over 32 children for an entire year. That’s just huge.”

“We had no idea how much these much needed funds can assist the work Sue and her team do until we met with them to discuss our support. Ten dollars is small change, what you might spend on two or three good coffees, yet it’s enough money to feed two Ugandan orphans for a whole week.

“That’s quite a tangible difference we’re making to people’s lives.”

As part of Shotover Canyon Swing’s commitment to supporting local charities it runs an annual fundraising initiative to raise monies for local causes, picked each year by the company’s own staff.

“Once we knew how much of an effect we could have on so many people’s lives, we knew Orphans Aid International was our charity of choice this year. The work Sue does is just amazing and it has a real local as well as international appeal,” said Mr Hollyer.

Queenstown-based founder and CEO of New Zealand charity Orphans Aid International Sue van Schreven said she was “overwhelmed” by the generosity of Shotover Canyon Swing customers and the amount raised.

“It’s a huge help to us when we have local businesses supporting us like this. It’s also really encouraging for the Kiwis who are doing the hard yards in these extremely poor areas of Uganda.”

The funds will go towards the charity’s new Uganda programme that helps the neediest children in a very poor community.

“It’s not unusual for children to die of malnutrition in this area. With food in their tummies the job of looking at what can be done to help a family break the cycle of poverty can begin,” said Ms van Schreven.

“Social workers will work with families to address issues around alcoholism, HIV aids and poor hygiene. Getting a healthy diet at an early age has significant value. It really is life changing for those on the receiving end.”

“It’s initiatives like Shotover Canyon Swing’s ‘extra swing’ push that enable us to continue the crucial work we do, so we’re extremely grateful to Matt and his team for their hard work. They’ve all been fully behind the campaign since day one,” said Ms van Schreven.

Extra donations from both customers and spectators were also gratefully received in collection buckets at the Shotover Street booking office and at the Shotover Canyon Swing site.

“Every year we’re blown away with the generosity of others and we’re proud to be able to make such a difference to so many lives of orphans living in Uganda. We know our customers and team are amazing people, but this just proves it,” said Mr Hollyer.

ENDS

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