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Get Ready To Pack the Park

The Southland Charity Hospital is by the community, for the community: and it is set to bring something pretty special to the public.

To pay tribute to everybody who has supported the cause – and to mark the first anniversary of the death of cancer care advocate, Blair Vining, whose epic fight for more equitable healthcare treatment directly led to the formation of the hospital – the Southland Charity Hospital will bring the ‘Pack the Park’ event to Rugby Park in Invercargill this October. The game will see the Blair Vining Invitational XV take on the New Zealand Parliamentary rugby team.

Southland Charity Hospital board member Melissa Vining, Blair Vining’s wife, says Pack the Park is about saying thanks to a community that has provided plenty of support.

>>> To purchase a supporters brick or commemorative plaque, visit buyabrick.co.nz

“We are so close to realising our vision of bringing the Southland Charity Hospital to life, and there’s just no way we could have achieved all that we have if it wasn’t for the people of Southland and Otago supporting us every step of the way,” she says.

“To say thank you to the people of the south, we wanted to do something extra special – and we’re privileged that so many people want to help us say thank you.”

An A-list line-up is set to suit up and take to the paddock: but for now, the Southland Charity Hospital is remaining tight-lipped on who exactly the crowd can expect to see on the field and on the sidelines.

“We’re planning to announce names as we get closer to the time, but at the moment, it’s completely top secret,” Vining teased. “All we can say is, stay tuned. We’ve been blown away by the support the Southland Charity Hospital has received from all corners of the community, and we’re humbled that so many top-calibre people are keen to be part of this.”

Working with Rugby Southland, the Pack the Park game will serve as curtain-raiser to the Southland Stags taking on Taranaki in the Mitre 10 Cup. Entry to the terraces will be free while those in the stands will pay just $15 for the double-banger rugby spectacular.

The Southland Charity Hospital is seeking sponsors for the game, which will also be televised live on SKY Sport.

“We know this is an event that is really going to excite a lot of people in our community and we’d love to encourage our community from all over Otago and Southland to make a day of it, and get amongst an atmosphere that we probably won’t ever see again,” Vining says.

The Pack the Park event will be followed by a gala dinner event at Bill Richardson Transport World. Tables of 10 will be sold to ‘The Aftermatch’ function. Tickets will go on sale later this month.

>>> To purchase a supporters brick or commemorative plaque, visit buyabrick.co.nz

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