Playhouse gifted to the community

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(From left) MenzShed manager Peter Bailey, committee members Ken Bowie and Geoffery Napper, playhouse winner Mark Smith and MenzShed chairman Paul Goffin set up the raffle prize at Woodlands Tavern last Saturday.

WHEN Southland woman Tracey Smith got the call her husband had won a raffle, she prayed it was not a cow.

When she realised it was a children’s playhouse, she was relieved to say the least.

“All our grandkids live up north, so my first thought was, ‘what are we going to do with it?”’ Mrs Smith said.

Earlier this year, her husband Mark bought a raffle ticket at the Southland A&P Show for a chance to win the MenzShed Invercargill project.

“I bought ticket for the Cancer Society. I completely forgot about it but I knew what it was immediately when I got the call,” he said.

The drawing of the raffle was delayed a few months after Relay For Life was cancelled during Covid-19, he said.

The Woodlands couple did not have much use for the playhouse at their home, so donated it to the Woodlands Tavern and wider community.

“We thought it would be of better use if we gave it to the community kids to enjoy and for when they host events here,” Mr Smith said.

When he approached the tavern owner, he was “rapt” and “more than happy” to have it.

Last Saturday, Mr Smith met with MenzShed members who delivered the playhouse to the tavern.

“It’s fantastic to see it all set up and it adds colour to a public space.”

Woodlands Tavern owner Mike Butler said it was “bloody good of him” to gift the playhouse to the venue.

“They’re [MenzShed members] really good buggers, they delivered it and set it up, you can’t get much better than that.

“It will be great for the kids’ Christmas party and whatever else we’ve got on.”

MenzShed representative and Relay For Life committee member Ken Bowie said it was the second time members had made a playhouse for charity.

“We’re not all handymen but we all chipped in to help out. That’s what MenzShed is all about, supporting the community in any way we can.”

The raffle raised about $4000 for the Cancer Society.

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