For Hollie McIntyre, that person is Andrew – her loving and loyal partner.
So when she heard about our Leap Year Love competition – one that would give a female the chance to propose to her significant other here on 29 February and win some great prizes – Hollie leapt at the chance.
What Hollie didn’t realise, however, was that she quickly found a place in our heart.
Not just because her submission was unlike any other.
Not just because she was the only one to have friends & family also write in to submit on her behalf.
But because this gorgeous woman has terminal cancer and, despite all of the awful setbacks she’s experienced since her diagnosis, she has not stopped giving back to others.
For years Hollie has worked in her local pharmacy, helping others when they are sick and being there to help them get through their troubles.
In between trips to chemotherapy, Hollie was rallying around her community raising money to purchase and send much-needed medical supplies to Australia following the bush fires.
And now she just wanted the chance to propose to the love of her life – not for the prizes; just because Andrew is her “best friend and [her] absolute rock and has had to put so many things on hold to take care of me”.
The Dalai Lama has said that during our lives we should do something good in our lives. That if you can contribute to the happiness of others, then you will find the true meaning of life.
To us, it seemed that Hollie is the embodiment of this.
Her story also made us realise that if she can do so much good for others despite what she’s facing, that we can try and do something good for her.
This was no longer about a marketing promotion – this was about being a human.
We told Hollie she had won the competition and the advertised prizes.
She was over the moon and quickly sorted friends, family, workmates & Andrew to make the trip south to Vodafone Derby Day under the guise (to him) of her having won an ‘Owner for the Day’ experience at the races.
She had sorted all the details and, despite being too ill for chemo on Friday, still managed to make it here to Ellerslie to take up their ‘prize’.
What we didn’t tell Hollie, however, was that we had rallied around our racing community and, thanks to their generosity, were able to ensure that she and Andrew can enjoy the most important thing in their lives – time together in the coming months – while the stresses of their wedding planning were sorted.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when this courageous woman proposed to her best friend up on the dais just after 1.40pm on Saturday 29 February 2020.
From the team at Auckland Racing Club, thank you Hollie for helping us realise the true meaning of life and for forever leaving a place in our hearts.
We wish you and Andrew all the happiness in the world xxx
Flights to Hawaii flying Hawaiian Airlines plus three nights’ accommodation at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort courtesy of the airline and Auckland Racing Club
Venue hire at Tote on Ascot courtesy of Ellerslie Event Centre & Auckland Racing Club
$2,400 engagement ring courtesy of Ellerslie Jewellers and Auckland Racing Club
Headpiece for the day courtesy of Belinda Green Millinery
Hosting for 40 friends and family on Vodafone Derby Day in Cuvée, Silks and the Ascot Stand
Custom or off-the-rack wedding dress from Trish Peng Bridal
$5,000 towards the cost of catering from Barfoot & Thompson
10 cases of Lindauer Vintage for the wedding from Lindauer
$750 voucher for Kathryn Wilson shoes for him & her from Vodafone
x2 nights’ accommodation in a premium room with a buffet breakfast at SkyCity Hotel Auckland + a $100 dining voucher to be used at any SkyCity Auckland restaurant from SkyCity Auckland
Selfie Station hire from Selfie Station
$500 to go towards a wedding photographer from Love Racing NZ
Three hour DJ dancefloor package* from DJ4U
Celebrant services from Jo Holley
Bride’s hair & make-up* from Tracey Dalton Makeup
$250 to go towards a wedding cake from an anonymous member of the racing community
$200 voucher from Clique Fitness
Wedding jewellery rental from Friday.Candy