Christmas comes early

Public choice. . . Hokonui Community Market co-ordinator Julie King and helper Natalia Halder (11) of Tapanui ask people to vote for which charity should receive a donation from the market’s surplus in stallholder fees. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Charities have benefited from the growth of the Hokonui Community Market.

The market is held at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on the second Saturday of the month.

Market co-ordinator Julie King said since May more than 40 stallholders had been selling their wares at the market.

Prior to that, the number of stallholders attending was about half that, Ms King said.

There had also been a corresponding rise in public support for the market.

‘‘If it wasn’t for the community supporting, the stallholders wouldn’t be able to come.’’

The increase in numbers meant the kitty, comprising the fees the stallholders paid to take part in the market, had grown to a sizable amount.

It was decided to ask members of the public which charities should receive the surplus in the kitty.

After Saturday’s market the votes were counted and Hospice Southland received $500, the Lumsden Food Bank $300 and Mates in Construction $200.

This month the market had a mid-winter Christmas theme.

‘‘The feedback has been amazing.’’