She worked wonders with national charity Cure Kids – now Queenstown’s Kaye Parker is waving her wand over the Wakatipu Trails Trust.
In just her second year as boss, Parker lifted the trust’s 2010 income to $457,355 – up 43 per cent – according to new financials obtained by Mountain Scene.
The elevated funding arguably makes it the Wakatipu’s most financially successful community body.
Starting in 2002 with a $50,000 annual council grant, the trust now boasts an impressive stable of funders which would make most good causes go green.
A family trust of Sir Eion and Lady Jan Edgar paid $40,000 in 2010 as part of a $100,000 donation towards the trail trust’s 90km Queenstown Trail, due for completion next year as part of the New Zealand Great Rides national cycleway.
The Government’s cycleway fund also paid $66,750 into the trust last year out of its total $1.8 million commitment towards the $5m Queenstown Trail.
The John Key-inspired cycleway gave her “a lucky break”, Parker says.
“We had very little notice, three weeks to [submit a proposal] before Christmas – so I thought right, we’ll just have to work through the night.”
The trust was one of just 13 successful cycleway applicants out of 55 throughout the country. There’s still over $3m to raise for the Queenstown Trail but the canny Parker has sold 36 local sponsorships, including nine “gold” and 14 “patron sponsorships”.
She and lawyer husband Michael have bought a patron sponsorship and former Auckland mayor and cereal king Dick Hubbard a gold.
“Fundraising is tough,” Parker confesses, “it’s just that I’ve got renewed vigour and enthusiasm [for the Queenstown Trail] because this is my wonderful local community as well.”
She believes locals can see the new trail bringing in high-value tourists to cycle and walk – and the community will enjoy the amenity too.
The trust’s success is a team effort, Parker stresses.
“I’ve got this fantastic board of trustees and then when I have events, I have the privilege of working with the top people in this community to make it all happen,” she says.
The trust is chaired by Terry Stevens and there are seven other trustees, including mayor Vanessa van Uden. Edgar became patron and a trustee last September.
Parker is the trust’s sole employee, working part-time on an annual salary of $81,600, according to the financials.