Who knew that having a sumptuous lunch accompanied by matched wines could do so much good!
Otahuhu Rotary know the secret which is why for the last ten years their Winemakers Lunch has been an absolute must-attend in the calendar of some many … 230 guests this year.  Held on Sunday 23 September they reached their 3,000th guest who have experienced the luxury of their Degustation menu.
The attraction of the lunch is not just the food and wine, it is also the high interest in the messages of the high quality guest speakers that over the years have included Patron Valerie Adams, All Blacks,  NadiaLim from My Food Bag, Graeme Sinclair of Gone Fishing fame, Alyson Gofton, Nici Wickes, Julie Biuso, Michael Van De Elzen, Linda Hallinan and specially in from Brisbane, Tim McCallum (pictured here with President Alex Rohde).
A standout highlight this year was Tim McCallum. Tim came over from Brisbane just to attend the lunch to share his story and to entertain us with his singing. Tim also told us how local Rotary clubs near his home (Victoria, Australia) supported him and his family when he was recovering from his accident which resulted in him being a tetraplegic. More about Tim can be found on U Tube and www.timmcallum.com.au A truly remarkable man with a positive attitude.
The Rotary Club of Otahuhu also honoured Michael Somerville from Fujitsui NZ with a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF). Michael has been supportive of the club’s activities and last year was instrumental in helping raise just over $19,000 for Emergency Response Kits.
The event is a true Rotary and Family of Rotary occasion.  Alexandra Park generously allow organiser Rotarian Merv Ah Chee to bring the food, wine along with the Chefs plus the Waiting Staff.  These Waiting Staff have been Kings College volunteers for the last nine years supplemented for the first time this year by Otahuhu Interact and Rotaractors.  Also in full support are the club members, their partners and often other family members. 
Fundraising on the day comes from a number of methods that have their own unique innovative approaches such as a Market Place, Silent and Live Auctions that have raised over $300,000 over the ten years. Additional to this Otahuhu Rotary have raised annual income from a Calf Grazing Scheme in South Auckland/Clevedon.
While the event is an occasion in its own right, the purpose is to support the Totara Hospice South in their vital work looking after those at the end of their time here.  They have to raise $millions to bridge the shortfall from DHB  funding each year and the Otahuhu Rotary have helped  with this challenge for more than ten years. Some of the funds raised do get used for other very worth causes via the Otahuhu Rotary Club’s Charitable Trust to support local Primary, Intermediate and high Schools in the Otahuhu area with various programmes primarily focussed on assisting youth such as Dictionaries, Trees for survival , dental hygiene project , 3-D printers,  RYDA,  and other youth programmes.
The Degustation Menu is such a hit that a cookbook has been produced of some the favourite recipes and is available for purchase from the club at a mere $25 a copy – a real asset for every kitchen.  Top order email in the first instance Drysdale_ja@xtra.co.nz