Fun and Fundraising name

Fun and Fundraising

Celebrating a birthday milestone gave Clif Shaw the perfect fundraising opportunity.

Turning 50 is a major event in anyone’s book and usually a good excuse for a celebration. For Clif Shaw, it was the ideal reason to cycle from Cape Reinga to Wellington and raise money for Totara Hospice in the process.

“I enjoy bike riding, especially on the trails,” says Clif. “I turned 50 in September last year and thought ‘Well, I wouldn’t mind doing something extraordinary in my 50th year.”

He and a friend decided to ride the length of the North Island, with Clif’s 50th also marking a year since he’d had a hip replacement. He says cycling had helped his recovery. “I was finally starting to feel really good and I thought, ‘Why wouldn’t you do it [the ride] for a good cause?”

The Auckland-based business coach is part of BNI (Business Networking International) Metro, which supports Totara Hospice. Clif says his thoughts of fundraising were cemented by a very special guest speaker. “Ellen Davis a 17 year old Youth Ambassador came and spoke to us about Totara Hospice. She’d lost her father and it was one of her first times making a speech. She spoke beautifully at our BNI breakfast meeting one morning and that inspired me.”

Clif contacted Melinda Seal, the head of Fundraising, Sponsorship and Marketing at Totara Hospice, and she helped him to create his fundraising page on “Then I just put on my little blurb and photo and threw the link on my Facebook page. I went through my email database and sent it to everyone that I felt comfortable mentioning it to,” says Chris. He had donations from family, friends and business colleagues and also gave clients the option of taking part by donating on their behalf in lieu of Christmas presents – “…they were all rapt with that.”

Clif’s ride raised nearly $4000 for Totara Hospice and he is planning a South Island trip as the next stage. Already a regular rider, Clif stepped up his training a couple of months beforehand to ensure his body could cope with the hours on the bike. He and his riding partner planned their route using a mixture of cycle way tracks and quieter back roads, as they wanted to avoid busy highways.

The ride started at Cape Reinga on December 19th and finished at Parliament Buildings in Wellington on January 2nd. Clif says it was an incredible experience and one he would encourage others to try. “It was so enjoyable it felt like cheating. I met so many people, because you’re riding slowly through villages and people are waving out… you feel so much more engaged than if you were driving.”

He says cycling is an opportunity to get out and about, whatever your level of ability. “If you want to do something extraordinary or just take a week and go for a ride somewhere then I think it’s the best thing you can do, and if you say to your friends, ‘Look, I’m going to ride and raise some money’, then people think that’s pretty good.”

If you are interested in fundraising for Totara Hospice in a unique way contact Melinda Seal by phone (09 640 0025) or email