Event fundraising

Rotorua Singlespeed Society raises $10,000 for charity at ‘Celebrate Life’ event

New Zealand’s smallest mountain bike club has done it again.

Celebrating Life, an event organized by the Company Rotorua Singlespeedraised $8,000 for the New Zealand Cancer Society‘s Lions Lodge in Hamilton and $2,000 for the Stroke Foundation. It was a lucky case of third time after postponements due to Covid 19.

“We took a relaxed tour of Eastwood Cafe at SCION at the Secret Spot Hot Tubs in Waipa,” said the Society’s Paul Laing. “Next, prize giving with giveaways from some very generous Rotorua businesses and an auction of artwork, photography, trail signage and mountain bike apparel with a story, like a top of French downhill race of the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, all in Pig and whistleour pub of choice since 2008.”
[PI=22854630]Auctioneer James Alexander and Dave Joy. #50 of 50 trail maps per Tony Hadlow framed by Portico Gallery.
Photo: Red Star Images.[/PI]

In addition to the money raised, a “design study” by New Zealand artist Michael Smither, auctioned by Webb’s in Auckland in February, and a bicycle raffle.

The amount raised brought the Society’s total donations to various causes since 2008 to more than $70,000.
“Our events are light, loud and colorful with some really goofy costumes,” Laing added. “So it’s been wonderful over the past 15 years to give back a bit to the community that supports us.”

In the past, donations have always had a personal benefit.

“Like $5000 for New Zealand Kidney Health after the Anzac Singlespeed Champs in 2015,” said fellow Society member Dave Joy. “One of our committee members, Lance Tavinor, was donating a kidney to his brother, Grant, so it seemed very appropriate.”

After the Society’s 2017 Singlespeed World Championships, the Society’s second, $25,000 was donated to a few mental health projects, including Aotearoa Lifeline.
“It’s a serious issue that affects so many people,” Joy said. “No one is immune.”

This year was no different. The Company’s long-term president, Gary Sullivan of nzo and Riding in Rotoruaunderwent cancer treatment last winter.

The money raised will go directly to Lions Lodge which provides temporary accommodation for many people from Rotorua and the region who have to make the daunting journey to Waikato Hospital. “We stayed there on weekdays for seven weeks of treatment,” Sullivan said. “Hard to say how much care and kindness meant to me and my partner, Glen. It felt like home.

The Cancer Society is grateful for the support.

“In a really tough year for fundraising events due to Covid-19, not everything went to plan for the Rotorua Singlespeed team, which makes the result all the more amazing,” said Shay Rout of the Cancer Society. “They persevered with true courage and determination to make a difference for people with cancer in their community.”

The donation to the Stroke Foundation was also very personal.

“Jeff Anderson of Jeffson Bikes has supported the Society from day one with sponsorships as well as donating handcrafted frames as one-time prizes for singlespeed Worlds in 2010 and 2017,” continued Sullivan. “Unfortunately Jeff suffered a stroke a few months ago.”

The bike that the Society raffled off this year was a Jeffson. “He and I built it together in the winter of 2014,” says the Society’s Graeme Simpson.

“Jeff was a great teacher and it was a truly remarkable experience to help with every aspect of building this framework. And very therapeutic as part of my own cancer rehabilitation.

“We always discussed donating it to a good cause.”

Although raffle entries came from all over the country, the bike was won by one of Jeff’s longtime local customers.

“It was a real bonus,” Simpson continued. “And he was also at Secret Spot for the draw.”

In the past, the Society has made cash donations to the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club and equipment to volunteers on the Rotorua Trails Trust “Without these guys, we wouldn’t have a place to have fun,” Laing said. “They both do an amazing job and deserve the full support of all mountain bikers.”