Four hours of relaxation, rugby stories and all in aid of a great cause

posted in: News, Rugby

Laughter, good food and a good cause — these provided the ideal combination for four hours of entertainment and friendship at Hautapu Sports Club’s Long Lunch.

About 150 guests were treated to insights from rugby greats Christian Cullen and Sir Graham Henry, before getting down to the serious business of bidding in the auction to raise funds for the club and its chosen charity, The Waterboy.

Guests mingled in the club’s new garden bar, soothed by live music and nibbles, with pre-lunch drinks or a coffee made by Petchy — Olympic cyclist Rebecca Petch.

It was a chance to catch up, swap stories and debate the rights and wrongs of the previous night’s Bledisloe Cup match, won by the All Blacks.

Guests moved inside where the clubrooms had been transformed into a splendid luncheon venue, with 14 tables ready for a buffet lunch prepared by Joe’s Garage.

Event MC Isaac Boss took the microphone, introducing guests, taking questions from the floor and gently teasing those who were game for a touch of banter.

All Black legend Christian Cullen shared the highlights of his career, revealing a few inside stories and raising more than a few laughs. As for former coach John Mitchell … well, you had to be there.

After a trip to the buffet, former All Blacks, Wales and British Lions coach Sir Graham Henry joined the discussion from the stage.

His dry wit combined with rugby intelligence was stimulating and entertaining.

More questions from the floor, including a couple from former Black Fern Anna Bodle about the women’s game; more insights from Sir Graham (or ‘Ted’) as he described his work as a ‘consultant’ to the Ferns ahead of the imminent Women’s Rugby World Cup.

By the time the fundraising auction started, there was a buzz in the room as guests eyed auction items donated by Sheryn Hobbs, Andrew Flexman, Tieke Golf Estate, Windsor Stud, Waikato Chiefs and Takapoto Estate.

READ MORE: The auction items that helped raise more than $17,000 >>>>

The auction raised more than $17,000 for the club and its chosen charity, The Waterboy.

Penny Boyce, from The Waterboy, shared a presentation, showing how the organisation removes barriers and provides opportunities for those who might otherwise not be able to experience sport.

Hautapu Sports Club president Dave Simes oversaw the drawing of the raffles and thanked all those who had helped make the Long Lunch a success.

As guests started to leave, only one question remained unanswered … when’s the next Long Lunch?

Watch this space …

Photo gallery

Our Long Lunch, on September 16, 2022, in pictures — please click on the image to open to full size.

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