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More than $50k raised for ‘giving’ couple

Friday 8 September 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


More than $50k raised for ‘giving’ couple
Members of the Oire Nikao Tuteru fundraising committee: Bruce Manuela, George George and Daryl Rairi. MELINA ETCHES/23090704

More than $50,000 of monetary donations and radiothon pledges for Mama Kafo and Papa Pae Tuteru from the village of Oire Nikao in a combined effort to assist them after their two-storey home in Nikao was destroyed by a fire earlier this month.

Although the Tuteru’s were not injured in the blaze, family members say the fire has deeply affected the couple.

The destruction of their home also devastated the close knit community of Nikao who rallied around to organise the fundraiser.

Oire Nikao, Cook Islands Red Cross Society, the Tongan community and the people of Rarotonga came out showing their full support for a fundraising event which was reflected in the amount raised.

Emcee for the fundraiser George “General” George said he was “overwhelmed” by the number of people who had “willingly” come forward with their donations.

“From my corner, and for someone who has helped to host so many fundraisers and radiothons, I have to say that this one was one that our  Cook Islands people gave to from their hearts, people gave whatever they could for these two lovely and kind people Papa Pae and Mama Kafo.

“I believe this was because they have always, always, supported Oire Nikao, they would give their last dollar to anyone and they have always been so giving in the community,” said George.

“It really was unbelievable, the amount of $100 dollar bills and $50 bills people were donating at the Park was just amazing, I felt very moved,” he said.

The fundraiser was driven by the Nikao CICC Ekalesia - Rev Nanai Teava, Minister Vaine “Mac” Mokoroa, and coordinated by Bruce Manuela and Daryl Rairi.

Manuela said the committee have sought out professional medical advice to see where the funds can assist in the best way towards the health and well-being of the Tuteru’s.

“Families if they need something, they will need to put it into writing and we the committee will consider it, we are not saying no. These funds are for the well-being of Mama Kafo and Papa Pae,” said Manuela

A total of $53,367.50 was raised, the food sales came to - $14,452.40: Breakfast by the Cook Islands Red Cross Society and the Tonga Community - $1,867.20; Lunch by the Oire Nikao community - $12,585.20; Donations received at the Constitution Terevete Park - $4,345, and the Radiothon - $27,060.10.

The total amount of donations deposited on Monday 5th September - $45,857.50, as of yesterday a further $1,650 of pledges has been collected therefore the current bank balance sits at $47,667.50;  the committee are waiting for the rest of the outstanding $5,700 of the radiothon pledges to be received.