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Waiata of gratitude rang out from some of Cromwell’s littlest residents last Thursday.

Cromwell Early Learning Centre Inc (CELCI) was presented with a $500 donation from Bunnings Queenstown and Mr Whippy.

Mr Whippy had supported the opening of Bunnings’ new store in Queenstown and requested some of the proceeds be donated to a local organisation.

CELCI centre manager Lisa Lowrey said the donation was a lovely surprise and would be used for one of the new projects the centre had lined up, though it was yet to be decided which one.

The children had their own suggestions on how the donation could be used from new toys, monster trucks, Lego, a drum and microphone to animals and LOL dolls — as well as a sneaky request for ice cream.

The children were very enthusiastic about kapa haka and wanted to share a waiata as a show of thanks, Ms Lowrey said.

Mat time . . . (left to right) Olivia Dickie (3), Indie Hayes (3) and Elodie Archibald-Colvin (4) at CELCI last week. PHOTOS: SHANNON THOMSON

‘‘We’re doing a lot about having gratitude and being appreciative
— its part of our manaakitanga aroha — showing love, being kind to one another and gratitude.’’

Mr Whippy owner Steve Mitchell said he wanted to give something back to the community, and was pleased to support the early learning centre.

And as for the waiata, they brought a tear to his eye.

‘‘It was brilliant — pleased they didn’t ask me to sing,’’ he said.