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District-wide 'wear black' mufti day fundraiser

District-wide 'wear black' mufti day fundraiser for Wheels for Elias

A district-wide mufti day to fundraise for the Wheels for Elias campaign and to show support for the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup will be held next week.

The Horowhenua Black Out Day is an initiative by Horowhenua District Council to raise funds to help a Levin family purchase a $90,000 disability-access modified vehicle.

Co-organiser Sue Hori Te Pa says everyone is encouraged to wear black on Friday 23 October and donate to the Wheels for Elias campaign, while also showing support for the All Blacks as they enter the finals stage of the Rugby World Cup.

Twelve-year-old Elias Ruruku-Hunt has severe disabilities requiring full-time care and special equipment. His 10-year-old wheelchair is due for replacement, thankfully to be funded by the Ministry of Health, Mrs Hori Te Pa says.

"However, a new wheelchair also requires a new vehicle which has the ability to lift Elias in his wheelchair inside. At the moment his mum has to lift him in and out of his car seat herself, which gets increasingly difficult as he grows."

Mrs Hori Te Pa says a disability-access modified vehicle is needed to transport Elias to and from school and his many hospital and other health appointments.

"But, like any 12-year-old boy, he also loves getting out and about along with his siblings who love him to bits. Elias deserves the freedom this would give him and help him enjoy life."

Mrs Hori Te Pa says the Ruruku-Hunt family has exhausted every possible funding option, as this vehicle purchases is not covered by ACC and there is no other Government support available.

"So, we're encouraging everyone to help out by taking part in the Horowhenua Black Out Day and donating, even if it's just a gold coin."

Council is running the fundraiser as part of its community engagement framework, with the aim to develop a programme similar to BNZ's 'Closed for Good' day. Mrs Hori Te Pa says it will see Council staff volunteering their time for community projects.

Council is organising other fundraisers for the Wheels for Elias campaign, include a car wash, garage sale, sausage sizzle, and raffle.

In addition to schools, workplaces, and other groups and organisations, individuals can also support the fundraiser by direct crediting donations to Wheels for Elias at www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/helpelias


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