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News & Media

A Big Day out at Hamilton Zoo for IHC Waikato South

Monday 26th March 2012

By IHC Waikato South Association Christine Lee

Thanks to the Lions Club of Hamilton Dinsdale and the Lions Club of Matamata, people supported by IHC Waikato South – IDEA Service users, parents, caregivers and committee members enjoyed a wonderful day at the Hamilton Zoo on Sunday 18 March.

Around 33 people with intellectual disability, family members and caregivers accompanied by Lions Club of Matamata President, Warren Feek and his wife Colleen piled into a bus early on the Sunday morning headed for a big day out at the Hamilton Zoo. The bus trip was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Lions Club of Matamata. The bus trip itself was a big adventure and 33 very excited people arrived in Hamilton all set for a great day at the zoo. We were all so warmly welcomed by Dinsdale Lions Club members.

It was great to be part of the 600 plus crowd of people enjoying this big, fun event at the Hamilton Zoo organised by the Dinsdale Lions Club for people with disabilities and their families and caregivers.  

Wandering through the fully accessible park-like grounds of the Hamilton Zoo on this beautiful sunny Sunday to view the animals, resting a while in cool shady spots and picnic areas and  taking time at the children’s playground made this a very relaxing and enjoyable day for us all. Seeing the six magnificent giraffes and the white rhino, including a baby rhino, were highlights for our people.

We loved the entertainment that was provided by the Paul Simon Band and magician Trevor Sills from “Simply Magic”. The band playing at lunch time created a  real  carnival atmosphere enticing a number of people to try their hand at playing the drums, to sing on stage with the band  and to  get up to dance to the lively music. What talent amongst the visitors to the zoo! This was a very memorable day for people from Waikato South.

People were treated to a delicious sausage sizzle at lunchtime and drinks and ice blocks throughout the day, provided courtesy of the Dinsdale Lions major sponsors.  We were all thoroughly spoilt.

A big thank you Dinsdale and Matamata Lions for giving us such a fantastic day out.

Footnote: Sunday 18 March was the 16th Annual Zoo Day for people in the Waikato with an intellectual disability, organised by the Dinsdale Lions in conjunction with Hamilton Zoo and Friends of Hamilton Zoo, and supported by generous sponsors. It is the major community project for the Dinsdale Lions Club, and always brings smiles to the faces of those attending, along with many, many thank-yous.

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