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Wildflowers & Sculptures Bloom

Wildflowers & Sculptures Bloom

Crowds flocked to the 7th Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition this November, experiencing a field of wildflowers in full bloom, the architectural Mediterranean landscape and an outdoor exhibition which featured over 80 artists from around New Zealand.

Over five-days, 9,000 people visited Round Pond Garden, the home of Mike and Julie Russell. In a year where supporting local has never been more important, it’s worth celebrating that this event showcased 200 mostly local artworks of varying size and scale, generating $233,000 for our art community.

Organiser and host Julie Russell shares, “The exhibition is my family’s passion project. We work together for months in the lead-up, preparing the site, working with sponsors and the artists, marketing it and figuring out how to make it all happen, and then we rope in about 50 of our friends and wider whānau to pull it together. This year we are thrilled that we can gift to Cranford Hospice $122,000.”

This donation will go directly to help the Cranford Hospice team care for people at home. Janice Byford-Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Cranford Hospice, says “We are absolutely thrilled, and I am in complete awe of the Russell family and the magic they create in their gardens for people of all ages to enjoy. E whakawhetai ana tātou – we are all truly grateful here at Cranford Hospice.”

Byford-Jones continues, “This year has been incredibly challenging for many of us, which means support like this from the community is more vital than ever, so we can continue to provide the best possible palliative care, education, support and advice services. In a year, including the COVID-19 lockdown period, our team made 27,170 contacts with 880 people living with palliative care needs across the Hawke’s Bay region – either in their home, on the phone, or in our inpatient unit. The youngest person we are caring for is only 1 year old, with the oldest being 100 years old.”

Supporting Cranford Hospice is a personal journey for the Russell family. “The care that the nurses and all staff give to people at the end of their lives – and their whānau and loved ones – makes a real difference at the most difficult of times, easing the path and offering peace. We as a family have experienced this Cranford magic, and so have many of our friends who also give back through helping us with the exhibition.” says Julie Russell.

To keep services at no cost to patients and families, it costs Cranford Hospice around $6 million a year to provide care to the community.  The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board funds about half of that, leaving a shortfall of $3 million a year that must be raised through fundraising and retail activities.