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Team work . . . Absolutely thrilled with the 202F District Project of the year shield was (from left) Operatunity convenor Nola Howden and joint presidents Elaine Scott and Linda Best. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

Gore Hokonui Lions club members were “speechless” when they found out they had won the district’s project of the year award.

Joint presidents Linda Best and Elaine Scott said it was a nice surprise.

“When we won the award it was so special, because we didn’t expect it,” Mrs Scott said.

The club won the 202F District project of the year award at a ceremony held in Te Anau.

The accolade was won for the Operatunity event they hosted last year in February.

About 400 people attended the initiative, she said.

“On the night, 10 members from the group Operatunity played ’50s, ’60s and ’70s music.

“I think people enjoyed the chance to dress up and go out.”

The initiative raised $10,000 for the refurbishment of St James Theatre.

“We were absolutely thrilled that the public got behind it and supported it.”

She acknowledged the Mataura Licensing Trust, which was their main support.

Operatunity convener Nola Howden said the enterprise took months of planning.

“There were 33 club members who helped in subcommittees to help bring it all together and it all worked like clockwork.”

They were looking forward to hosting more shows, she said.

“People have been asking when the next one would be held and we definitely have things in the pipeline for another show next year.”

The club’s project would be submitted for the national competitions, she said.