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You Can Have Your Plate and Eat It Too

MEDIA RELEASE

23 December 2004

You Can Have Your Plate and Eat It Too

Christmas is rapidly approaching and the Auckland City Mission is gearing-up to deliver the "mother of all Christmas Dinners'. On Saturday from 11am, the Auckland Town Hall will become the venue for the largest Christmas Dinner anywhere in New Zealand. "With over 1,200 guests expected to attend, this is a huge logistical feat and the culmination of our Christmas Appeal," explains Ms Diane Robertson, Auckland City Missioner.

It will be "greener' Christmas this year, with the Mission using environmentally friendly edible plates. The plates, a great example of Kiwi ingenuity are based not on traditional plastics but the humble potato. Friendlypak distributes an entire range of durable table-wear products made from potato starch. They are 100% bio-degradable, tough enough for all but the hottest food and come in a variety of funky colours. They even taste good - "similar to compressed mashed potato' according to one taster. "This year, people attending the Christmas Dinner will actually be able to have their plate and eat it," jokes Ms Robertson.

The Town Hall may be the venue for the Dinner but the operation encompasses many sites across Auckland and a small army of volunteers. The Auckland City Hospital, the Edge and others are providing kitchen facilities; 400 volunteers will be involved in setting up the tables and decorations, cooking and serving the Dinner and together with Mission staff will spend the day making sure that everyone has a great time. There will be clowns and magicians, Mr and Mrs Claus, great food and top entertainment. Entertainers include Jason Kerrison, the lead singer of Kiwi band "Op Shop' and Graham Brazier founding member of iconic Kiwi band "Hello Sailor'; who have generously given up their holiday to support the Missions Christmas Appeal.

"The Christmas Dinner really typifies the Kiwi spirit with everyone pitching in to help. It is great to see and reminds us that Christmas is about giving and sharing. For me there are few images that better capture the spirit of Christmas than a child's face as they open their presents. We expect over 600 children at the Dinner, and each will get a present from Santa, be entertained by clowns, magicians, and musicians, and even be able to eat their plates. It is important to remember that these are children living in poverty; for whom Christmas would not have happened but for the work of the Mission and the support of Aucklanders," concludes Ms Robertson.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Diane Robertson, Auckland City Missioner

Ph 09 379 2395 or 027 481 9989

For media assistance, please contact:

Charlton James, Fundraiser

Ph 09 379 2395

About Auckland City Mission

The Auckland City Mission has been working with marginalised people for over 80 years. Services include an inner-city drop-in centre, crisis care and emergency relief, an emergency food programme, drug and alcohol services, housing support, and a residential service for those living with HIV and AIDS. The Auckland City Mission's Food-Link programme also distributes food to over 75 other community support organizations from Mercer to Cape Reinga.

Notes to Editors

Interviews & photo opportunities can be arranged:

„X Pre-Christmas at the Mission, e.g. families receiving food parcels & Christmas presents

„X Set-up at the Town Hall Friday 24 December between 10am and 3pm

„X Cooking Christmas Dinner at the EDGE from 25 December 7am onwards

o Chef available for interviews

o City Missioner available for interviews

„X Christmas morning

o Volunteers at Town Hall from 8.30am onwards

o Celebrities offering time on Christmas day

„X Christmas Dinner guests

„X Ms Diane Robertson, Auckland City Missioner will be available for interviews during the day

CHRISTMAS DINNER 2004

SATURDAY 25TH DECEMBER

AUCKLAND TOWN HALL

ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE & ARRIVAL TIMES

BJ & magician circulate outside until the doors open. Serena Stevenson circulates taking pictures.

11.15 - 11.30 Doors open

11.15 - 11.40 Dave Brookes plays organ in the Great Hall

Joe McDermott performs in the Concert Chamber

BJ & magician circulate inside until lunch is served. Serena Stevenson circulates taking pictures.

11.45 - 12.00 Jason Kerrison (Op Shop) performs in the Great Hall

Acoustic Styles perform in Concert Chamber

12.05 - 12.20 Graham Brazier performs in the Great Hall

Joe McDermott in the Concert Chamber

12.25 - 12.30 Diane says a few words, Bishop Paterson says Grace in the Great Hall and Concert Chamber (may be a second religious figure for Concert Chamber)

12.30 Diane and Bishop Paterson cut the Christmas cake

12.30 Lunch is served

Acoustic Styles plays in Concert Chamber

13.15 Santa & Mrs. Claus arrives, presents handed out

13.45 (approx) Event finishes

Arrival Times at Stage Door

The Edge sound technician 10.00am

BJ and magician 10.30am

Dave Brookes 11.00am

Serena Stevenson (photographer) 11.00am

Jason Kerrison 11.15am

Acoustic Styles 11.15am

Graham Brazier 11.40am

Bishop John Paterson 12.15pm

AUCKLAND CITY MISSION

CHRISTMAS DINNER 2004

Menu

Chips, crackers and lollies

Ham with pineapple and mustard glaze

Roast turkey with tarragon and cranberry gravy

Roast potatoes

Roast kumara

Baby glazed carrots

Sliced green beans

Christmas pudding and trifle

Christmas cake

Ingredients for Lunch

- 200kg ham,

- 200kg turkey

- 250kg potatoes,

- 220kg kumara

- 100kg green beans,

- 50kg carrots

- 90 litres of tarragon and cranberry gravy

- 8 trifle sponges

- 60 litres of strawberry jelly

- 50 litres of custard

- 1,200 Christmas puddings

- 200 litres of ice cream


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