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Nelson’s Bishop Steve Maina and MP Nick Smith have taken up Red Cross’s “Stick to your bubble but not your couch” fundraising challenge of running 71km, the length of Lake Taupo, over the next week of the lowered Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions.

“Red Cross is a wonderful charity that is providing support nationally and internationally for those affected by the health and economic impacts of Covid-19. This is about encouraging people to get out and exercise, raising funds but also about staying in our bubble to support the united effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19”, they said.

Bishop Maina and Dr Smith will be running 10km for each of the next six days from Tuesday and then complete the final 11km next Monday to complete the 71km challenge. It is a virtual race recorded by running ap. They will both be running in Nelson but at all times maintaining their Covid-19 separate bubbles. They have a $1000 sponsorship from King Salmon and have a $100 wager on the best time to be donated to Red Cross.

“We are very grateful for the $1000 sponsorship from King Salmon. They have long been a strong supporter of Red Cross and is particularly generous in these tough times for business. They are a great local company that supports so many causes, most recently donating Salmon to Nelson’s essential workers”, they said.

“I have run 10km before but to do so 7 days in a row will be a huge challenge for me. It will be good to work off the excess of too much good home cooked food over the past month of Level 4 lockdown. My $100 bet with Bishop Maina is a losers bet – not only is he a fit Kenyan Kiwi but has God on his side”, Dr Smith said.

“ I am pleased to support Red Cross and admire their good work here and abroad. This a tough time for so many charities as demand for their services has increased at the same time as fundraising is much more difficult”, Bishop Maina said.

“I am delighted our Bishop and MP has taken up my invitation to do the Red Cross Virtual Tour of Lake Taupo event. I encourage others to join them by walking or running over whatever timeframe people wish by going onto the Red Cross website where they can compare their progress to Bishop and Dr Smith. The $25 entry fee goes towards our work of delivery of medication, food and clothing parcels throughout New Zealand and our Restoring Family Links service is supporting families who have lost contact because of the pandemic. Our work supporting people in times of crisis or disasters is more relevant than ever”, said Red Cross’s Nelson based Community Fundraising Co-ordinator, Rachel Lake.


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