Music was added to the magic of Milford Sound at the weekend when over fifty guests taking part in a Real Journeys Cruise-for-a-Cause fundraiser were treated to opera singing by rising Dunedin star, soprano, Sophie Morris, accompanied by pianist Josh Romero.
Sophie, who at 21, had never been to Milford Sound before, says she jumped at the chance to support the charity involved –Queenstown Lakes Family Centre (QLFC) and do something completely different. “I’ve never sung on a boat, in the middle of a fiord – yeah just a really awesome idea. We were told there would be a piano and that’s all we need!”
Ticket prices were set by the QLFC for the Milford Sound Overnight Cruise on board theMilford Mariner, complete with kayaking, dinner and breakfast. Many were surprised to discover there was live entertainment as well.
“Amazing - Queenstown has always been innovative in ways to raise money and support for good causes. This combines all of that plus an iconic part of the country – it’s fantastic,” says Simon Hayes, one of the guests from Queenstown.
Real Journeys co-founder, Olive, Lady Hutchins, who’s 90, is also a patron of QLFC and attended the event. “I enjoyed it so much, the soloist was just beautiful, and I can never get enough of Fiordland,” says Olive.
Ilona Weekley, QLFC General Manager, says the charity was pleased to be able to offer something unique to the community. “It was an amazing setting and a far more intimate experience than any other fundraisers we’ve ever done.”
The trip raised $11,250 with all the money donated to the QLFC to help reduce its current six-week waiting list for families in need of support.
“We’re not a crisis service but when families reach out for help, they need it now - not in six weeks’ time. So to be able to do that is great,” says Ilona.
This is the first Cruise-for-a-Cause held in Milford Sound, it is a new initiative by Real Journeys to help charities raise funds in the final stage of its staff overnight cruise training before the new season. A similar cruise was held in Doubtful Sound last month contributing over $15,000 to the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust.
This winter, Real Journeys community initiatives include the “Birds of a Feather” Charity Ball, which raised over $35,000 towards Kakapo Recovery and a special Discovery Expedition with DOC in aid of its Dusky Sound Conservation and Restoration Programme.
Cruise-for-a-Cause in Milford Sound video:
For more information, visit the Cruise-for-a-Cause web page.
For further information contact:
Tsehai Tiffin - Real Journeys Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +64 21 523 899