A lifetime of giving9 March 2017 - The Sunrise Foundation
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 different 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 as a singer and performer which led to opportunities in music and theatre and enabled 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 could 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.
Maureen visited her lawyer recently to make arrangements for her will. After providing for loved ones, she talked to her lawyer about leaving something for the community. When he mentioned Sunrise to her, Maureen loved the idea that a donation to Sunrise will keep on giving back to her community for ever.
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.
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