Colliers’ record-breaking fundraiser - $215,000 figure raises the bar image 1

Colliers’ record-breaking fundraiser - $215,000 figure raises the bar

Colliers Otago annual fundraiser breaks records

Thursday 13 Apr 2023

Organisers of a local fundraising event have reported a record result, with $215,250 raised at their annual Latitude 45 South charity auction. Combining an enticing wilderness location with luxury hospitality, 70 of Colliers’ top brokers and private clients came from all over the country at the end of March to experience the best of the Otago region.

As the 10th time they have hosted the event, the formula for the day is tried and tested, with each year providing a new hand-picked location to showcase the region’s finest offerings. Wānaka’s Mahu Whenua was selected for 2023, a truly unique property that encompasses four high country sheep stations over 55,000 hectares.

Guests flew with Glacier Southern Lakes helicopters from Queenstown to take part in clay bird shooting with Break One against a backdrop of the Southern Alps, interspersed with canapes, oysters and golf off the front lawn to add to the competitive spirit. The afternoon included Mora wines donated by the Skeggs family to complement a fine dining luncheon over which the charity auction was held.  

Colliers Otago Director, Mark Simpson, said the event was both a celebration and an opportunity to give back to the community. “Every year we’re impressed and humbled by the generosity of the attendees, and 2023 was no exception. The charity recipients are an important part of the day; our guests recognise the inspiring work undertaken by these organisations and want to help. This year has given us an amazing result and will make a real difference.”

Simpson says the Queenstown-Lakes District gives Colliers as organisers a wealth of options to provide the ‘wow’ factor for visitors. “The key is to keep attendees excited about what could be happening next year – we maintain a level of secrecy around the format of the day and the location right up until attendees are actually at the airport and ready to go. The bar has been set high right from the start, so there needs to be innovation in the approach to keep the funds flowing to the charity recipients. Fundamentally it’s about creating a special experience that people can’t buy ‘off the shelf’ to say thanks to our clients and raise real money for the charities.”

The charity auction comprised a selection of bespoke, often once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Colliers Auctioneer Brendan Quill expertly encouraged attendees to bid freely, resulting in raising an incredible event record of $215,250 to be split between five key charity recipients.

The annual Colliers Latitude 45 South Luncheon was established as a way of thanking the company’s top private clients whilst raising significant funds for worthy causes. The event has raised in excess of $1.6 million since its inception in 2011. The beneficiaries for 2023 are the Wakatipu High School Foundation, Otago Community Hospice, the Graeme Dingle Foundation, Hawkes Bay/East Coast Cyclone Gabrielle Relief fund and Southern Lakes Sanctuary (on behalf of Mahu Whenua).

Chairperson of the Wakatipu High School Board and Trustee of the Foundation, Adrian Januszkiewicz, commented that “The Wakatipu High School and Foundation continue to be immensely grateful for the generosity of the Colliers team and their invited guests at this incredible event. The donated funds, which cumulatively exceed $500,000 over the years the event has been held, allow us to do so much to improve the quality of education for Queenstown’s high school students.”

Jo Booker, Trustee of the Southern Lakes Sanctuary, noted that “Soho Properties Ltd is proud to have hosted the event at Mahu Whenua Lodge and to lend its support to the Southern Lakes Sanctuary. Southern Lakes Sanctuary is an exciting and ambitious landscape scale conservation project. Support from groups like Colliers is integral for the project's long term survival as the Southern Lakes Sanctuary works towards a predator free Southern Lakes region.”

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