Our Mandy tackles $10 challenge

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Winter Festival’s Ladies Lifestyle Challenge Biggest Transformation winner Mandy Gardiner is using her new lease of life to help others. 

The 51-year-old taxi dispatcher and colleague Janne Nock, 49, will travel 1500kms from Auckland to Queenstown on just $10 to raise money for charity. 

The Blue Bubble taxis duo has signed up for the annual $10 Queenstown Challenge for Cure Kids – which funds medical research into life-threatening child illnesses. 

Mum-of-three Gardiner lost 13kgs during festival’s 12-week lifestyle challenge and was judged to have the biggest transformation of the 12 Wakatipu contestants. 

“I felt so good when I finished the challenge that I wanted to do something new to keep it up,” Gardiner says. 

“I’ve always said if I won the Lotto I’d do charity work, so this seems the right challenge. 

“Cure Kids is such a good cause. My sister-in-law Janet died of leukemia and was heavily involved in medical research during her treatment. 

“The more money we can channel to medical researchers, so children don’t have to suffer, the better.” 

Gardiner and mum-of-two Nock must raise $7000 before the start of the three-day challenge in October. 

The Amazing Race-style format sees them complete physical and strategic challenges along the way – with the route kept top secret. 

The girls will hitchhike some of the way, which could hand them an advantage. 

Gardiner says: “Blue Bubble taxis are throughout the country.” 

“But look hey, that’s not really the name of the game, it’s all about fundraising along the way.” 

A market day garage sale fundraiser will be held at the Events Centre on Sunday, September 16.