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Ninth Holly Trail brings in a welcome

Good cause: Chairperson KK Marffy, The Holly Hospice Trail Charitable Trust Committee and CEO Cranford Hospice Janice Byford Jones celebrating the money raised by the Trust. Photo/Duncan Brown.

The 2016 Hospice Holly Trail reached its destination last night with an evening of thank yous and a remarkable donation to the Cranford Hospice.

To the obvious delight of Cranford Hospice representatives, who were not aware of how much the ninth replica Van Cleef & Arpels clover alhambra annual Hospice Holly Trail had raised until it was announced at the special cocktail evening at Craggy Range, event co ordinator KK Marffy declared that $275,000 was about to go their way.

She had hoped the event would equal last year's record $250,000 result and was thrilled to exceed it.

As were Janice Byford Jones and Nathalie van Dort from Cranford.

The Holly Trail first took place in 2000 and the result was a $40,000 donation to Cranford.

As Mrs Marffy said "it has grown a lot since then".

The latest fundraising result has pushed the total the trail events have raised for the hospice through the years to more than $1.5 million.

About 100 people enjoyed the early replica Van Cleef & Arpels Clover Necklace with flower summer warmth at last night's cheque presentation which was also an opportunity to say a collective "thankyou" to everyone involved in what Mrs Marffy said had become a "massive thing".

"The home owners and all the sponsors the florists who were the heads of design teams the conveners who looked after the properties."

Representatives from Iona College, which staged a Carols for Cranford event in association with the Holly Trail, were also in attendance."Thank you all for what you did to make this such a huge event," Mrs Marffy said.

The trail's reputation had grown so strongly through the years the 2500 tickets for the latest one all quickly sold out, and Mrs Marffy said word had certainly spread.

"We had a big Australian contingent come here for it."

Ten diverse homes and properties across the region were opened up for the trail for people to wander and enjoy.

Each was decorated with flowers in a Christmas theme.

Mrs Marffy paid tribute to the homeowners saying "quite simply our trail would not exist without the wonderful generosity of our homeowners there are months of preparation that go into homes and gardens and it is so rewarding to watch the vision, planning and hard work".

She also praised the nearly 350 volunteers who gave hundreds of hours of their time to make it all come together.

"It was such a great time and we were unbelievably lucky with the weather it brought everybody out."

One of the major sponsors, Mike Glazebrook from BioRich, welcomed the gathering before calling Mrs Marffy forward to make the presentation, which ended in a lot of smiles and great applause.

Cranford Hospice patron John Buck said he was simply "in awe" of the devotion by so many in the region to support them.

"It is all voluntary they raise so much van cleef necklace imitation for us and they don't take a cent I don't reckon you would see it anywhere else in the world and that is why I am so proud to live here," Mr Buck said.

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