Nominate your favourite vollies


A Queenstown family counselling service is using a unique fundraising opportunity to also say ‘thanks’ to a champion Wakatipu volunteer.

Queenstown Lakes Family Centre, along with the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust, have been selected by Real Journeys to use overnight Fiordland cruises as fundraisers.

The local-based tourism company chose the organisations for their inaugural Cruise-for-a-Cause initiative from more than 50 applicants.

The family centre is selling 62 tickets at $389 a head for a Milford Sound cruise on September 18/19, hoping to make up to $20,000 from the cruise to increase its clinical hours and so reduce its six-week waiting list.

The centre also intends shouting a ticket to a local volunteer who works with children – the winner can also bring a partner or friend.

General manager Ilona Weekley is asking the public to go to its Facebook page and nominate who they think deserves the prize.

The volunteer could be a Big Buddy, a sports coach, a girl guide or scouting leader or someone who helps with school camps.

“The more people we have like this, the fewer children need to access services like ours,” she says.

After nominations close on July 31 the family centre will whittle nominations down to five volunteers.

Those volunteers will be announced in Mountain Scene, and people will then get another chance to say who should win the cruise.

Weekley says she’s delighted with Real Journeys’ generosity. 

“Our service is so over-burdened that families who’ve reached their breaking point are having to wait far too long to be seen.”

The $389 ticket includes coach transport to Milford and back, overnight accommodation on the Milford Mariner, a three-course evening meal, cooked breakfast, kayaking and tender craft activities, and a concert under the stars by Dunedin soprano Sophie Morris.