Teen’s lightbulb moment

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Queenstown companies are backing a teenager’s heartfelt campaign to fund Parkinson’s disease research.

Wellington youngster Sakira Knights launched a `Lightbulb Trade Relay’ with the goal of raising more than $20,000 by November.

In a trade relay, companies and individuals barter items or services of a higher value than what has already been given.

For example, The Helicopter Line Queenstown swapped a $990 private charter flight over the Remarkables mountains for a $400 restaurant voucher.

Gibbston’s Peregrine Wine then traded the charter for a $1200 wine voucher.

Sakira began in March with a $12 lightbulb from Zeal Electrical in Wellington. The latest item is a $3000 shopping spree at Nood NZ.

“It’s overwhelming,” Sakira says.

“Everyone has been so generous. I really didn’t think it would get this big so quickly.”

The 13-year-old launched the national campaign as part of a school project after her grandmother was diagnosed with the debilitating disease.

And another 19 Queenstown firms have become involved through subsidiary campaigns.

They’ve either donated items or services to be auctioned off, such as a $290 double adult pass for Shotover Jet, or made cash donations directly to the campaign’s bank account.

“It’s been fantastic,” Sakira, a Samuel Marsden Collegiate School pupil, says.

“Working together as a caring community I think we can make a difference and try to shine a hopeful light on a dark disease.”

The first $10,000 raised will be donated to The Neurological Foundation Douglas Human Brain Bank in Auckland, and the second $10,000 to Shake It Up Australia, where her grandmother lives.

Anything over $20,000 will be split between the two.

To get involved see www.facebook.com/LightbulbTradeRelay

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz