HERO COMPETITION - WINNERS' STORIES
The following are the nominators' submissions for the winners of our Hero Competition. As you will see these are five very special people. Their selfless kindness during lockdown really touched our hearts. We're really looking forward to meeting the winners when they come to enjoy the Art Deco Masonic Hotel experience with us.
We received many amazing stories of kind, generous people from the 150 people who kindly took the time to share their heros' stories with us. We thank you all sincerely, it reminds us of the importance of community and the gift of kindness.
Owners Neil Barber & Craig Hay, General Manager Rob Poole.
(Each receive two nights accommodation in a luxury Suite with breakfast each morning, $150 food & beverage voucher & stunning bottle of Trinity Hill Wines “L’Eritage Syrah 2018”, retails at $120! - gifted by Trinity Hill Wines.)
Lee Stevens nominated Alexia Casbolt Stevens, from Auckland:
"I nominate my incredible daughter in law Alexia. Going to Napier has been on her bucket list for quite awhile. Unfortunately she was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago at 28. While the cancer has progressed and she is now classified as terminal, her spirit and energy and determination surprises us all. She still travels, never complains. Loves going out for dinners and seeing friends. Her love for my son and her family and us is beyond words. To surprise her with this incredible prize would be magical. Alexia inspires me and I cannot think of anyone else I would nominate she is an absolute hero. Thank you Lee Stevens."
Jason Dawson nominated Sharlene Dawson, from Waikato:
Sharlene was a hero during the COVID-19 lockdown. She is Paediatric Home Care Nurse so was deemed an essential worker. Her role involved home visits to families with children who suffered from chronic diseases, medically complex situations, waiting for transplants or terminally ill. It made an already difficult time for families and homecare nurses even more challenging. From wearing full PPE gear for home visits driving across the Waikato through to access and home delivery of medications/life support equipment. For three weeks leading into lockdown, Sharlene also helped nurse and support her best friend's dying father. He unfortunately passed away 24 hours before lockdown and she supported her friend and arranged the funeral, from where he died in Katikati to his burial with 10 family members at Hawera. She made it home 10 minutes before the midnight curfew after dropping her friend back in Rotorua after the funeral. It was one of NZ's last public burials before lockdown commenced. Her empathy, compassion and kindness knew no limits as she helped her friend on her grief journey alone, as her friend's grieving brother from Ireland was not allowed to visit the dying father or sister due to the 14 day self-isolation rule. And lastly, while she worked through, she did grocery shopping for two of our elderly friends. One lived alone across the city and the other two were our neighbours. Every week, she would put herself at risk to grocery shop for our household and our two elderly friends. She was their lifeline, also regularly contacting them, providing home-baking, organising their medications and helping to lift their spirits when they felt so vulnerable and isolated from the world. She also hunted all over the city, sourcing gluten free flour for another friend who's family all suffer from celiac disease. After two weeks, she was successful in finding a supplier for them. Sharlene has continued to work through without a break, maintained a positive attitude and always puts herself above others. She didn't have the time to practise a lot of self-care, injured her shoulder during lockdown but carried on until she could have a scan at Alert Level 3 and is the glue that keeps our family together. For these reasons and more are why we nominate her as our 'hero'. Three cheers for our essential workers! "
(Each receive one nights accommodation in a luxurious Suite with breakfast, $100 food & beverage voucher)
Sue Martin nominated Darren Hollaway, Hawke’s Bay:
"Darren was so selfless and stayed at home by himself during Lockdown 4,3 & 2 so his partner could spend time caring for her dad who was in palliative care. Sadly he died during that time. Because Darren was at school to supervise those children who returned early, his bubble had increased extensively. Therefore his isolation period away from his partner and children increased further simply to protect us from the Covid19. He sacrificed a lot but never complained or moaned. He was very gracious in what he did & remained humble throughout. "
Jamie Roil nominated Calum MacMillan, Hawke’s Bay:
"Calum worked tirelessly throughout the whole lockdown period in tough drought conditions ensuring the wellbeing of his stock with no governmental support. He had little outside help because of the lockdown and other family members working for other essential services or from home. Throughout this time he kept a positive attitude despite a very difficult situation and put his animals as top priority. Throughout lockdown he still managed to put everyone before himself as he always has and didn't complain once. He worked long hours alone, through weekends, even with 2 injuries- both of which are awaiting surgery. He hasn't had a proper holiday in the last few years due to various factors including an unwell family member, to whom he has given unwavering support and encouragement. He deserves it more than anyone I know, I couldn't keep positive in such tough conditions day after day for that long. He's a top bloke, he's in farming for the right reasons and would give the shirt off his back to anyone. He upholds the old fashioned values of respect, loyalty and humbleness in all aspects of his life. He really loves the sea and I think staying close to the ocean and enjoying a meal cooked for him (instead of him cooking all the time on top of everything else he does) would be truly and humbly appreciated by Calum. He hasn't been off the farm in months and probably wont have a break unless he's made to! Thanks for the opportunity, Jamie. "
Toby Beaglehole nominated Kiri Hannifin, Wellington:
"Kiri is the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Quality, Safety and Sustainability at Countdown Supermarkets. When COVID-19 broke and we all stormed the supermarkets panic buying, she was a voice of calm, and sanity, and care for her supermarket workers, pleading with New Zealanders to stay safe, slow down, and be sensible. You could hear her voice breaking as she assured us that there were supplies aplenty, and we needed to show some patience and kindness. She's a hero because she moved beyond the corporate speak and demonstrated a genuine compassion for supermarket workers, and consideration for the wider community impacted by the actions of a selfish few. Given the energy she poured into helping us to do the right thing, she could probably do with a break about now!"