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Hall progress . . . Rebuild committee chairman Alex Baxter, left, Glenmark Lions Club president David Belton, and committee member Emma Dormer in the space which will be separated from the main hall with a sliding door which will be bought with the funds donated by the Glenmark Lions Club. PHOTO: ROBYN BRISTOW

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Pumpkins have helped build the Omihi Community and Sports Hall.

Proceeds from a pumpkin patch at Glenmark Drive have allowed the Glenmark Lions Club to donate $10,000 to the project for a dividing door to separate the larger function area in the building from a smaller multi-use space.

President David Belton said the club raised $11,332 from selling them, with volunteers contributing 150 man-hours each.

Their efforts were helped by the expertise of the property owner, a former market gardener, who not only ensured the third of a hectare of pumpkins grew well, but also had the marketing expertise.

Mr Belton says the club sees the Omihi Hall and Sports Pavilion as a worthy local project to support because of its importance to so many people who will make use of it.

Rebuild committee chairman Alec Baxter says the committee is grateful to the Lions for contributing to the project.

“It is organisations like this that is enabling everyone to get a benefit from the hall,” he says.

The hall is on target to open in early spring.

It is about three years since the old hall, built in in 1924, was gutted by a blaze.

It left the community without a hall and the Glenmark Rugby Club without clubrooms.

The project is costing about $1 million and will be available for hire for functions. It will be used by local sports clubs and organisations, and provide a base for the rugby club.

A roll-away stage will be available for productions by the local school and other organisations.

Mr Baxter says there has already been interest in hiring the hall for a 21st birthday, a family function, and a caravan club event.

It is licensed to hold 250 and will be a Civil Defence headquarters for the district.