Concert raises $27,000 for Queenstown hall upgrade

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The first fundraiser for the Queenstown Memorial Hall upgrade has raised about $27,000.

Ticket and bar sales for Saturday night’s “Reach out for the Memorial Hall” concert came to about $10,000.

A further $17,000 was pledged by concertgoers in amounts ranging from $20 to $1000, Memorial Hall Trust chairman Cath Gilmour says.

“That’s pretty damn good,” she says.

“That might go up because one pledge car filled out the credit card number but not how much they wanted to give – I’m hoping it’s an open cheque.”

About 300 people attended the concert, organised by local entertainer Simon Green, which comprised a big band set, a musical comedy duo and a Motown-inspired set of nine songs.

On the night, Gilmour also announced that the estate of the late Peter Wilding, who farmed at Lake Hayes till he died in 2006, has donated $100,000.

The Wilding estate also contributed $175,000 to the Queenstown Trails Trust late last year.

Gilmour also announced that AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand co-founder, Queenstowner Henry van Asch and his wife Caroline have gifted $5000.

Local philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar and Jan, Lady Edgar, have also given $10,000.

The trust is seeking $3 million to upgrade the hall as a community, performance and conference venue.

The Central Lakes Trust, which Sir Eion Edgar chairs, has granted $1m.

Saturday night marked the launch of the trust’s community fundraising campaign, which is aiming to raise $400,000.

Other contributions are expected from Queenstown Lakes District Council and other community trusts.

The upgrade – including elements like tiered seating, heating and ventilation – will take place between late July and next February.