Auctions raise about $100000 for Blair Vining Foundation

Blair Vining has terminal cancer and one of the things on his bucket list was to play one last game of rugby with his mates.
Kavinda Herath/StuffBlair Vining has terminal cancer and one of the things on his bucket list was to play one last game of rugby with his mates.

Family and friends of Vining, who is being treated for bowel, lung and liver cancer, helped him tick off a rugby game from his bucket list at the Midlands Rugby Club grounds in Winton on Saturday. The black tie function was held there that night.

Organiser Ben McHugh said he believed between 3500 and 4000 people watched the game and more than 500 attended the black tie evening.

Blair Vining, third from left, had the support of many Southlanders at his bucket list rugby game in Winton at the weekend.
Kavinda Herath/StuffBlair Vining, third from left, had the support of many Southlanders at his bucket list rugby game in Winton at the weekend.

The auction money will be given to the Blair Vining Foundation, which was set up last year to help junior sports people in central Southland.

Another special moment on Saturday came when the Midlands Rugby Club made Vining a life member.

“The whole day was a fantastic success and quite emotional at times,” McHugh said.

Blair Vining arrived by helicopter with daughters Della-May, 16, and Lilly, 12, for his bucket list rugby game in Winton at the weekend. Vining has terminal cancer and wanted to play one last game of rugby with his mates.
KAVINDA HERATH/STUFFBlair Vining arrived by helicopter with daughters Della-May, 16, and Lilly, 12, for his bucket list rugby game in Winton at the weekend. Vining has terminal cancer and wanted to play one last game of rugby with his mates.

“Looking around at the game, a few rugby players had a tear in their eye.”

The bucket list game involved Vining on the field with players he used to play rugby with, as well as former All Blacks and Southland players.

“I’ve been told we sold 7500 Speight’s cans in two hours [at the game],” McHugh said.

Winton volunteer firefighters were bartenders at the black tie function and some had to leave on two occasions to respond to emergency call outs, with one in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Stuff