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Council CEO jumping to raise funds and awareness

Tauranga City Council CEO Marty Grenfell. Image: Supplied.

Tauranga City Council Chief Executive Officer Marty Grenfell is taking a big leap of faith.

On the morning of Wednesday, May 29, Marty will be skydiving to raise money for the Graeme Dingle Foundation, as part of their ‘Drop the Boss’ fundraiser.

Dani Lidell, who works in the Tauranga City Council’s digital print team and board member of the Graeme Dingle Foundation in the Bay of Plenty region, first asked Marty to do the jump through an email.

Marty replied, stating he supported the cause, however he didn’t commit to the jump.

Dani then followed up, by catching him in the elevator, and sealing the deal with Marty face to face.

The Tauranga City Council CEO says he has never skydived before, however his first will be his last.

Marty says it is important for him to skydive as he is sticking to his word to do it, and it because it is for a great cause.

“I’ve been aware for many years of the work the Graeme Dingle Foundation has done to support youth development throughout the country.

“My children also attended the Outdoor Pursuits Centre (founded by Sir Graeme Dingle) ten plus years ago, and loved it.”

Initially, Marty says he was surprised when asked to skydive, and he has been keeping himself distracted with other things instead of preparing for the jump.

The Graeme Dingle Foundation’s Drop Your Boss is an annual fundraising event where community leaders skydive to raise funds and help impact local children and youth through their programmes, says Regional Manager Dan Allen-Gordon.

The event gives bosses a chance to put themselves in the shoes of young people, by stepping out of their comfort zone and doing something that challenges them.

The foundation was founded in 1995 by Sir Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson, in the hopes of improving New Zealand’s negative youth statistics.

Programmes run by the Graeme Dingle Foundation include Kiwi Can, Stars, Career Navigator, Project K- Mauri Tu, mauri tau and MYND.

Dan says the programmes help build resilience, and the Kiwi Can programme aims to reduce behaviour such as bullying.

“It isn't however an anti-bullying programme it is much more than that as it's preventive and focuses on working with all 2,050 students in Kiwi Can in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty.

“Stars is a whole school peer mentoring programme reaching over 500 students here, and we have two schools with our Project K programme that Sir Graeme Dingle and Joanne Wilkinson started in 1995.”

Weather permitting, Marty’s jump is taking place at 9am on Wednesday, May 29.

To donate to the Graeme Dingle Foundation, visit Marty’s Givealittle page here.

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