Mo-ing down the top spot in New Zealand


Once again, this wonderful place we live in has blown me away.

The week before the start of November, Tessa from The Country radio show sent out an email urging people to join their Movember team. I haven’t cultivated a moustache for charity for many years, in fact the last time I did, I had the organisers of the event contact me to say that I was breaking the rules and if I didn’t fall in line, I was facing further action.

I had organised a breakaway competition, kind of like the Cavaliers tour to South Africa back in the day.

Back then The Rock radio station had full association with Movember and here was some womble in Ashburton on the radio organising a mou-grow for local charity.

It all ended well and I even got a pat on the back from the ‘boss’ in Auckland because somehow the Herald got hold of the story and I ended up get a bit of coverage in the rag.

So, I replied to Tessa and said you can count me in. I set up my ‘Movember’ page on the website, including adding a $500 goal for the month.

I galloped out of the fundraising gate thanks to my annual Melbourne Cup sweepstakes which I normally run for Riding for the Disabled, but gave them a year off and banked the funds for Movember.

The initial $20 a ticket sweep sold so well I did a second $10 sweep as well. $720 in the tin and goal achieved two days into the month.

That got the bit well and truly lodged between the teeth and I urged the hamster into the wheel and tried to come up with some other fundraising ideas.

Morning tea giveaways turned into auctions and a grovelling post searching for items to auction from local businesses was answered with huge generosity.

A chat with Chris Hindson resulted in him saying “ANZCO would be keen to support your mission Hoops. How would a meat package valued at around $700 work for you?” “Yeah, that’ll work nicely,” I replied.

After a sleep on it and some more hamster work, I went back to Chris and suggested a raffle could be better than an auction. Rather than having one person outbidding everyone, it would be nice to open it up to as many people as possible, no matter how flush they are. And it may work out better for the fundraising pot.

So up went the post last Thursday morning on the book of faces.

Every $10 donation equalled one ticket to win the meat pack. Friday lunchtime I popped out to ANZCO to grab the big box of meat and Chris greeted me with the superb news that they wanted to give me a $1000 boost as well and the package.

I was amazed at the number of $10 donations and all the awesome “Keep up the good work” comments with them. Very inspiring.

The donations totalled $4780 and it was the Honda Country team that landed the big meat win.

At the end of last week, I had passed the $10,000 mark and had slipped into fourth spot in NZ for individual fundraisers.

The leader is only $2000 ahead of me and I hope to mow them down this week with the help of some more out of the square ideas, help from local business people and the support of our awesome local community.

I’ll let you know how we go.

Till next week.

Hoo Roo

Phill Merv Hughes Hooper


Phill Hooper is the breakfast host of Ashburton’s Hokonui radio station. The views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect the opinion of his employer or the Ashburton Guardian.