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'Giving back' the motive for huge pool donation

April 26th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

A strong desire to "give back" to the Motueka community has led Leeon Johnston to pledge $25,000 to support the Motueka Community Swimming Pool fundraising effort.

Leeon (pictured), of Bayleys Real Estate, last week pledged to donate $500 from every property sale he makes from now on until his donations total the $25,000 mark.

Given that he is the region's most consistent high performing real estate agent, on average selling one property a week, this will go a huge way toward reaching the fundraising target.

With the pledged amount added in, the fund has now effectively passed the $160,000 mark.

The project is to enclose and heat the existing Motueka High School swimming pool so it can be used by the community hopefully year-round.

Interestingly, Leeon's father was one of the people who helped build the pool in the first place. "I'm a fourth generation Motuekan and very proud of my town," he says. "It has supported me in my business endeavours in the past and still does, and I would like to give back to it. Doing this is my way of saying thank you."

Leeon has been heavily involved in the community, particularly in sport, over a number of years now. He has sponsored the Kaiteriteri mountain bike track, and athletics and rugby, and has coached Huia rugby teams (see photo below with the team). At present he is the coach and chairman of the Motueka High School rugby team, and is a High School trustee.

Leeon announced his decision in an advertisement in the Guardian two weeks ago. Spotting that, the pool committee announced it on their Facebook page, and the item has now received over 2,500 views.

Fred Hickling, chair of the fundraising committee, says Leeon's generous initiative is hugely welcomed by his team.

"Knowing how well respected Leeon is within Motueka, this will doubtless encourage other businesses to think about ways of helping us reach our fundraising target," he says.

"The more people that choose to support Leeon in his business, the more quickly his target will be reached."

Leeon acknowledges that his initiative will hopefully encourage home sellers to list with him, but says this is not the reason driving his decision for making the donation.

"Hopefully this inspires other businesses to get in behind this project, which will benefit a lot of people in the community.

"It's all about giving back to the community that has supported me so well in the past."

Comment by Sue Clark:
[Posted 29 April 2017]

Well done to Leeon - his very generous contribution to our community asset - the Motueka Swimming Pool is very much appreciated. Hopefully this will give other people the confidence to contribute to this very worthwhile cause!

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