If you want to see how rural style fundraising is done, check out what the East Coast of the North Island is able to achieve in support of the Cancer Society – by holding a good old fashioned stock drive.
In 1999, ANZ’s Andy Woolfield came up with the ANZ Bank Sheep Drive for the Cancer Society, and it has been perfected over 22 very successful years.
Woolfield recently retired from organising but left a well-oiled machine in his wake, which is supported each year by a large contingent of very generous coordinators, vendors, buyers, transport companies and stock agent companies.
It reached its pinnacle last year when the drive raised over $50,000, and while this year fell short of that level, considering everything that has been thrown at farmers in 2020, the $41,700 raised was considered to be as much of a success as 2019.
ANZ Bank’s Ema Riri was one of the coordinators and says it is a privilege to be involved.
“The East Coast farming community gets behind it every year and that’s what makes it a great success,” she said.
“It is a big team effort that has been perfected over 22 years and I would love to see other regions take on the challenge.”
Donated stock is transported to the Matawhero sale yards on the last sheep sale day in August.
PGG Wrightson are the selling agents for the fundraiser and, along with Carrfields and transport companies Farmers Transport Ltd and Robb Bros Ltd, work at ground level to transport, draft and sell the stock.
Jamie Hayward from PGG Wrightson says the support from the wider East Coast community is nothing short of outstanding.
“Everyone gets behind the event – both sellers and buyers,” Hayward said.
“One local is a big supporter – this year he donated 40 lambs which sold for $200. “Buyers also play their part as those lambs on today’s market would have made $160, so it is a team effort.”
This year, 301 sheep and one heifer calf were put forward for the drive, with other donations made as well.