Record Ryman fundraiser

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Ngaire Dixon, left, who is chairwoman of the Alzheimers New Zealand board and Eddie Betts, centre, an advocate for Alzheimers research, with Ryman Healthcare chief executive Gordon MacLeod and the $390,000 cheque.

By SHELLEY TOPP

Ryman Healthcare has combined with its retirement village residents and staff to raise a record $390,000 for Alzheimers New Zealand.

The donation was presented to Alzheimers New Zealand chairwoman Dr Ngaire Dixon by Ryman’s chief executive, Gordon MacLeod, at Rangiora’s Charles Upham Retirement Village last week.

Each year, Ryman selects a charity to fundraise for at its 32 retirement villages around New Zealand.

The money is raised by residents and staff who hold hundreds of fundraising activities, including sausage sizzles, baking sales, car washes and raffles, throughout the year. The company matches the amount raised.

“Today is one of the most important dates in our calendar, known by our team as ‘giant cheque day,’ and continues a 19-year tradition of helping out good causes,” Mr MacLeod said.

“In our first year in 1999 we raised $30,000 for St John and last year we raised $330,000 for the Heart Foundation. So each year gets bigger.”

Ryman’s Rangiora village was chosen for the presentation ceremony because its residents and staff collected $11,216, more than double their $5000 target.

This year’s $390,000 donation is the most Ryman Healthcare has ever raised for a charity partner.

“I think it reflects the widespread impact Alzheimers and dementia have on so many lives,” Mr MacLeod said.

It was also a record single donation received by Alzheimers New Zealand.