The Ultimate Waiheke Wedding raffle organised by the Parents and Friends of Te Huruhi concluded after two months of ticket sales on Monday 13 March with $51,250 raised.
The lucky winner was officially Kim Rae, however, she is not the one getting married: Julia Cavillon and Stacey Jade Hackworth are.
Rae’s four-women team are behind holiday accommodation company Stay Waiheke. They have 10 children between them who have either gone through or are currently at Te Huruhi Primary School. When they bought two tickets for the wedding raffle they were not only trying to give back to the community, they also wanted to give two employees a dream wedding.
“Stacey and Julia came to be part of our cleaning team one and a half years ago, and we just had such a great season that we asked them back again for this one,” says Kim Rae, partner at Stay Waiheke.
And along the way, magic happened.
“We talked about getting married but we were never in a rush,” says Stacey, who is 22 and from South Australia.
“But after [our employers] found out that Julia and I were a couple, they told us they would buy two tickets for the raffle, and in case they won, we would have the wedding.”
When Kim was called to be informed of her prize, Stacey decided to propose to her girlfriend. With flowers and a picnic, the two young women got engaged on the beach.
“It’s so exciting,” 28-year-old Julia says. She is from France but nevertheless expects the family to fly in for the October wedding.
The couple will have the Ultimate Waiheke Wedding, worth more than $43,000, where everything from a venue and cake to photography and hair styling has been donated by locals.
The raffle had 800 tickets of $100 for sale to fundraise for a new playground for Te Huruhi Primary School when the school is rebuilt. It began in mid-January and ran for almost two months before a winner was drawn on Monday at 9.30am.
Principal Adam Cels had the honour of finding a lucky winner, and police Sergeant Chris Kerekere was present to ensure a fair draw. • Emma Haas

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