What a year 2020 has been, and with that in mind, we decided to go all out and have an extravaganza evening to honour our next round of grantees. So, on the 22 October at 6pm 300 people turned out in their finery for a sit-down dinner with Sir Michael Hill to be our guest speaker. What a way to toast the talent in our region and pause to reflect how lucky we are to be able to have a large gathering to celebrate our future leaders in these uncertain times.
This evening we honoured 2 more incredible grantees and 2 deserving re-grants. We were very lucky to have the amazing Kaitlyn Ruddock as our emcee. George Glover introduced Katlyn, which was a lovely touch because Kaitlyn had been so supportive of his Black dog swim earlier in the year when she was working for TVNZ as the roving reporter for the Top of the South. Kaitlyn was warm, funny and gave an amazing platform for our grantees to shine from, we are very grateful that she was able to be with us and help make our night such a success.
Sir Michael was highly entertaining, interestingly his life story reflects the values of our foundation; grit, resilience, determination, and ability to overcome adversity to shine. While very funny, and beautifully delivered, his speech had many poignant points that were relevant not to just our grantees but to all present. We then had a small auction of some incredible pieces – an art piece drawn by Sir Michael Hill during lock down, a signed jersey from Emirates Team NZ, and a signed golf glove owned by Tiger Woods from 2002 which he wore while winning the US masters. The proceeds of this auction go towards helping secure the future of the foundation so we can continue giving grants to our extraordinary young people.
Then we went onto the stars of the show – our grantees. Again, they gave the most amazing heartfelt speeches about their journeys which always give goosebumps and inspire the room.
Our grantees this round were:
Sharon Wilson – Music
Dom Henry – Small Bore Shooting
Eleanor Grigg – Music
Kodi Rasmussen – Composition
During the evening we were very lucky to hear pieces beautifully played by Samuel Lee and Lauren Doherty on the violin, and to hear Kodi Rasmussen’s composition ‘Thermogenesis’.
It was night to remember, I think it’s safe to say we all left the building feeling inspired, energised and grateful.