While it will be business as usual at next year’s Petone Rotary Fair there will also be cause for celebration as the fair turns 21.
Petone Fair organiser Alan Stevens has been with the fair since it started and is currently hard at work organising everything for next year to ensure things run smoothly for its 21st.
He says the fair won’t be short of people to help celebrate. “On a good day we’ll get 35,000 people.”
Over the past 21 years the Petone Rotary Fair has raised a significant amount of money for the community, and continues to support a number of organisations in the area.
Petone Rotary Club member George Forbes says the fair has raised “well over” $260,000 for community projects since its first year.
He says all of the proceeds go towards the Rotary’s projects, such as Britannia House and Te Omanga Hospice, which they are long-time supporters of.
“Generally we want to make sure that we respond to specific requests, such as funding a vehicle with wheelchair access for Britannia House, or we just provide cash funding. We also help with local projects like playgrounds.”
The Fair has also provided the Rotary Club with funds to assist local organisation Thumbs Up Charity Trust, which supports the needs of young people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Thumbs Up Trust chair Rose Chadwick says that it has been wonderful to have the interest and support of the Petone Rotary Club since the organisation became part of the Petone community in 2007.
“Members from our two organisations have enjoyed attending some of each other’s special events, and getting to know more about the work we each undertake.”
She says the organisation has very much appreciated the contributions made by the club towards the refurbishment of their hall.
“We have had a stall at the Petone Fair ourselves, and have enjoyed meeting the visitors to the fair, while doing a bit of fundraising at the same time.”
Mr Stevens says the fair is one of the most significant summer events in Hutt City.
A 2007 economic study commissioned by Hutt City Council concluded that the event brought in $2.875 million of additional spending into the city.
He says that’s pretty good for an event organised by volunteers that raises money for the community.