Wanaka Sun       

Race4Life grants Wanaka wish

Posted at 5:45am Thursday 08 Nov, 2018 | By Allison McLean journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz

The charity Race4Life made sure an Invercargill hospice patient and his wife celebrated their first wedding anniversary in style last week.

Phillip Batt, a terminally ill cancer patient and vintage car lover, and Mandy Batt arrived in Wanaka for four days of complimentary dining, accommodation and a chauffeur to Warbirds and Wheels museum in a 1930 Model A Ford last Saturday. The Race4Life Trust, which grants "wishes" to palliative care patients, partnered with Targa NZ and other Wanaka-based sponsors to ensure Batt's anniversary wish was granted.

Race4Life wish coordinator Alex van Tuyl said Batt learned of his terminal diagnosis one day after his wedding.

“He finally married his sweetheart, only to have their future together ripped away from him. Phillip contacted Race4Life Trust with a wish to be able to visit Wanaka with Mandy for their wedding anniversary, as it was somewhere they had always wanted to visit, and, he wanted to be able to spend some special time with his wife and help her have a break and relax away from the strict hospital and hospice regimes and routines.”

Race4Life was established in 2015 with a goal to enable people living with life-limiting illness to realise their dreams and create memories that they and their families can cherish. It is also Targa NZ's chosen charity for the next five years.

Van Tuyl was in the midst of organising Batt's wish when she attended Targa's first vintage car time trial last month and got to talking to Wanaka-resident, and time trial organiser, Rod Corbett.

“Alex mentioned they had one of their clients coming to Wanaka for his wish and they asked for some suggestions. We assisted with a list of activities and offered to bring Phillip and Mandy to the museum in one of our cars because of Phillip's interest in old cars,” said Corbett.

Corbett, who told the Wanaka Sun that he loves sharing his vintage cars with other people, even dressed the part alongside his wife, Anne Corbett, when they picked up the Batts from Edgewater Hotel and drove the couple to the Warbirds museum for a complimentary tour and lunch at the 1950s retro diner.

Batt told Race4Life that he enjoyed his time away with his wife and they were both treated like royalty. “He said they were spoiled with the food and are not used to eating so well. He said his highlight was being chauffeur driven in such an awesome car and he loved the museum,” said van Tuyl.


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