A lifetime of giving
Maureen Potroz says it was the support of two generous people early in her life that fostered her belief of giving back.
Maureen grew up in Dunedin where she began her life-long love of music and performance. She left the South Island in her twenties and lived in many places in the North Island before moving to Gisborne 35 years ago.
It was during the early years that Maureen met two music teachers who recognised her talent and nurtured it, providing free training when she couldn't afford it. Their generosity and kindness had a big influence on the young woman, teaching her invaluable skills in music and theatre and enabling everything she's achieved in music over her life - including offers of a scholarship in England and a part on TV back in her heyday. They also taught her the value of giving and she has been giving back ever since.
Maureen has given back to the community as her early benefactors did by training young local musicians (whether they can afford it or not), volunteering for thirty years as an official accompanist at Gisborne music competitions and as the founding member of Centre Stage, a charitable organisation that has supported operatic and musical theatre in Gisborne since 1986.
When Maureen visited her lawyer to make arrangements for her will, after providing for loved ones, she talked to him about leaving something for the community. When he explained Sunrise to her, she loved the idea that a donation to Sunrise will keep on giving back to the community forever.
She says "it was really easy to set up" and decided to donate to the General Fund "because she wanted her donation to help anyone who needed it".
For a woman who has spent her life giving back to her community, it is heartening that her gift to Sunrise will continue that legacy forever.