Event date: 26 March 2023
Photographer: Geoff Salisbury Photography
On a warm sunny autumn Sunday, the team at Allely Estate delivered the owner’s (Peter & Catherine’s) vision and passion to raise well-needed funds for the Muriwai Community Association and their Trust the Muriwai Relief Fund in conjunction with Kumeu Rotary and supported by the Waimauku Lions.
Catherine Cooke shares all the highlights from a very heart-centric afternoon of giving.
The beautiful villa of Allely Estate was adorned with over 60+ items donated for auction. Guests poured over all the wonderful offerings – some sport-themed being cricket bats signed by Kane Williamson, a prized Richard Hadlee signed photo, Warriors signed & framed jersey, a golf pass for 4 to Huapai Golf Club, and Round of Golf for 3 people at Te Arai Links with Greg Turner (which we ended up getting two donor prizes for – thanks to Ryan Brandenburg from Golf Strategy Group), beauty treatments from Brow, White Spa & Float Lounge, accommodation on Great Barrier, Castaway & Soul Retreat Cable Bay, a massage chair from iRelax, plenty local and kiwi artwork, STIHL items from STIHL Kumeu and so much more. Guests purchased an array of drinks and mixed & mingled in the lusciously gorgeous grounds before finding their way to their designated tables in the marquee.
With 22 tables set up, there were 220 people who attended this event. And the marquee had been beautifully presented by Paul & his team at Event Styling (who donated their time and equipment, thank you) along with the Allely Estate team led by Melissa for the set up with flowers put together by our Client Manager Athina and partially donated by Country Blooms, Riverhead.
Once seated in the draped roofed marquee, MC and local, Alison Mau (Ali) set the scene for the day as to why we had all come together, thanking those who had put the event together; Catherine & Peter, owners of Allely Estate with Kumeu Rotary (who donated many items, brought tables, shared the event far and wide) for funds earmarked for the Muriwai Community Association (who also did exceptionally well with sharing the event, purchasing tables and gaining donor items for the auction) and their Trust, the Muriwai Relief Fund. Ali thanked Todd & the band from Crowded Trousers (part of The Groove Diggers) along with Peter’s brother Chris Cooke (NZ Musician who lives in Sydney, hails from Auckland and returned for this event) for their offer of time to keep everyone musically entertained. Ali also thanked the Waimauku Lions who came on board to be part of this event with their donation, promotion, and purchasing of tables.
Ali said to everyone ‘don’t think you are getting a bargain … this is a charity fundraiser so open your pockets’.
Lunch commenced with a gorgeous buffet from Head Chef, Kevin and his team (which included our former Head Chef Grant) – (menu here), accompanied with an array of NZ wines, beers, and commemorative personalised French bubbles from Wine Time. Chris Cooke delivered amazing vocals and tunes over lunch, and it was great to see people dancing to his music.
Ali Mau returned to the stage after lunch to remind people ‘why’ we were all here and invited up Kat Corbett to give a goose bump, chilling, and very emotional account of her family’s fight for survival amid landslides, while also acknowledging two friends, Craig and Dave (Volunteer Firefighters) who lost their lives saving many, coupled with the uncertain future ahead of them all.
As Kat left the stage you could feel the emotion in the room. Entertaining Auctioneer Stephen Theobald, Harcourts Kumeu & Member of Waimauku Lions had a huge task ahead of him for the next hour, not just to fetch a good sum of money but to also get through a mammoth 60 items. Warming up the crowd didn’t take long, and Stephen was in full swing. Over the next hour, Stephen with the help of the very ambitious & motivated team at Allely Estate – Athina, Catherine & Melissa ramping up the crowd – Stephen yielded $33,250 post bank fees. There was some very heated contest with the lucrative prize from Nick Komornicki (Buccaneer Ltd) for two to visit the set for Jason Mamoa’s latest filming – a young lady pipped Allely Estate’s owner Catherine for this; and this same lady also brought a bit of contest to the Golf at Te Arai with Greg Turner, which as mentioned above the wonderful Ryan Brandeburg from Golf Strategy Group managed to score a 2nd donor prize option with this being matched by the other bidder. These 3 donor prizes alone brought in $11,250! … the auction didn’t just finish here … more on this well below.
After an action-packed hour and a quarter Ali signalled everyone to a breather to stretch, mix & mingle, enjoy dessert & beverages and music by Crowded Trousers.
Returning to the marquee for a wrap Ali invited Brett, Kumeu Rotary, and Peter & Catherine Cooke to the stage for a few words. Brett talked about how important this event was for Rotary and it was never in question to do an event and how seamless it was to do this with Allely Estate. Brent thanked the donors, attendees, Allely Estate, especially Catherine and Peter for their drive and passion to deliver and Waimauku Lions for jumping on for support. Brent also encouraged others to consider joining Rotary Kumeu, so we have more heads and hands to help the community. Peter discussed about how the event was very aligned with his and Catherine’s vision to connect with the community and how we approach all we do with a view of being heart centric. Peter thanked Allely Estate team, vendors, donors, and attendees. Catherine talked about the whirlwind 3 weeks to pull this together on top of their already busy workload (she and Peter have 3 businesses) and to see the efforts of today and the coming together & giving of such a great crowd made it all worthwhile. That the Allely Estate team were pros at doing events with little to no notice and had delivered two weddings with 2- (wedding here) and 3-days’ notice (wedding here) for couples whose venues had been compromised from the storms, meaning they could not get married – so we made it happen here at Allely Estate & delivered their magical wedding days.
Catherine thanked Ali Mau for jumping on board to promote and MC this event, along with Stephen for rousing the crowd to empty their pockets – they were both gifted with a commemorative Muriwai Rebuild bottle of French bubbles from Wine Time.
Kat Corbett took to the stage to present Catherine Cooke with an amazing bunch of flowers, from which Catherine tried to auction these off for $2000 and this was met with laughter from all, however, Catherine was not finished …. she attempted Stephen Theobald’s job as auctioneer (she is happy for him to keep that job) and managed to sell two more auctions at $4750 – bringing the total auctions on the day yielding approx. $38,000 after bank & credit card fees.
While the formalities of the event were finished, the guests continued to purchase a few items in the villa, enjoy the surroundings & company of many in the venue – many enjoying a Sunday afternoon boogie to the vocals of Crowded Trousers, with the last of the guests leaving at 5:30 pm – an hour and a half after the event finished.
What an amazing day – and quite an achievement from all who planned & delivered this emotionally charged event.
We are not finished with raising the necessary funds and you will see many ways below you can keep on providing.
THIS IS FOR YOU MURIWAI xo
Full photo gallery for the day is here
Please note that any photos downloaded and used on social media or advertising must have © Geoff Salisbury Photography. Thank you.
Further auction items that we ran out of time with are now on TradeMe here
You can either bid or contact email@example.com to make an offer on any item not currently bided on, however, pricing will not go below the start price as this is to raise funds, so ideally, we want to maximise the fundraising opportunity.
There is also a Givealittle Page still running here