It’s any excuse for a pre-winter party

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Tomorrow’s Queens–town Memorial Hall ‘Locals Ball’ is both an early-winter knees-up and a major fundraiser.

Proceeds from ticket sales, a silent auction and bar takings will go towards the $3 million upgrade of the hall. 

The upgrade, including tiered seating, heating and lighting, “offers the best bang for the least bucks for the most people”, hall trust chairman and councillor Cath Gilmour says. 

So far the trust’s raised $1m from the Central Lakes Trust, $400,000 from Community Trust of Southland, $100,000 from the Peter Wilding estate and $492,000 in two dollops from Queenstown Lakes District Council. The trust hopes to raise a large chunk of the remaining $800,000 from the Lottery Community Facilities Fund. 

However it’s also trying to raise at least $400,000 from the community. 

Gilmour says just over half that amount has been raised through donations, fundraisers and pro bono or discounted professional fees for the project. 

The ‘Locals Ball’ is tipped to raise between $15,000 and $20,000. 

Gilmour says individuals and businesses are also being tapped for pledges. 

Donors will have their names etched on the feature wall of the extended lobby.