Garden fete raises funds for St John

Helen and Trevor Scott Smith in their garden, the venue for the recent garden fete, organised as a fundraiser for Fiordland St John Ambulance. Photo: Julie Walls

FIORDLAND residents and businesses supported a recent garden fete held on Trevor and Helen Scott Smith’s property just out of Te Anau.

The event was a fundraiser for the Fiordland St John Ambulance. Mr Scott Smith is the treasurer and financial adviser of the Fiordland St John Ambulance area committee, and was recently awarded for long service and raising thousands of dollars for the Te Anau-based station.

The fundraiser was borne after two small rooms at the ambulance station were converted into a ‘mini apartment’, which includes a living area, kitchenette and bedroom, for the four full-time paramedics to use.

“After having converted the rooms, an inspection by council advised us that the fire precautions were not enough. The walls now have to be taken out between the apartment and training room and clad with more fire-resistant materials at a cost of $40,000.”

The fete’s nearly 300 attendees raised $12,828 towards the renovation work, from gate collections, a monster raffle and auction, stalls and a sausage sizzle.

Mr Scott Smith initially thought of having a garden tour as a fundraiser but the idea “grew and grew” into the fete.

St John paramedics and volunteers attended, showing visitors the ambulances and around the garden.

“The Garden Fete on Saturday [January 29] went beyond all expectations. Community wise, it did the trick and I think people forgot about Covid-19 and the misery it is causing. They were wondering more about checking out the classic cars, having picnics under the trees, it was such a lovely and happy atmosphere,” he said.

“I always stress that every cent given, stays and is spent in Te Anau,” he said.