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Auckland lawyers hit the courts for Youthtown

20 September 2005
MEDIA RELEASE


Auckland lawyers hit the courts for Youthtown

A group of Auckland lawyers will swap their suits for sneakers, and enter a different type of court to raise money for the youth charity

Law firm Shieff Angland is organising a massive 20-hour ‘basketball-a-thon’ from 5pm Friday 23 September through to 1pm Saturday 24 September to raise money for Youthtown.

The marathon basketball tournament will take place in Youthtown’s gym in central Auckland with the firm’s 54 staff (partners and staff) competing with clients and contacts in a continuous schedule of games over the 20-hour period.

Shieff Angland Managing Partner Craig Ewington says staff came up with the idea of a basketball-a-thon as a perfect way to have fun together while supporting a worthy cause.

Mr Ewington says that the firm recently decided to develop a community partnership programme with a single charity. Their criteria were that it was Auckland based, was focused on families or young people, had specific aims around learning, education and problem solving for people in need, had a hand-up rather than a hand-out mentality, enabled Shieff Angland staff to share their time with the charity and for the community partnership to be more than just a ‘write a cheque’ relationship. Staff voted for the charity they would most like to support, and Youthtown was the clear winner.

“The great thing about Youthtown is that it gives kids a safe place to hang out, where they can socialise, play sports and learn skills that will stay with them for life. It’s a positive place, making a difference for young people and the wider community.”

In addition to the basketball-a-thon, as part of its ‘September for Charity’ initiative, Shieff Angland is donating all of its client billings on ‘Billing for Charity Day’ (Wednesday 14 September) to Youthtown. The firm’s fundraising efforts culminate in a Charity Gala Dinner on Thursday 3 November. The initiatives form part of an ongoing annual commitment to Youthtown.

Youthtown’s Business Manager Greg Weller says they are overwhelmed with Shieff Angland’s support and look forward to hosting the basketball-a-thon in their gym.

“This is a great opportunity for Auckland’s business and youth communities to get together and have fun. It’ll be a real buzz to have everyone here competing!”

The money raised for Youthtown will go towards its operating costs. With 98,000 visits a year by young Aucklanders, Youthtown needs to raise $750,000 per year to maintain its facilities and current programme standards.

ENDS

About Shieff Angland
Lawyers at specialist law firm Shieff Angland focus on commercial property, general corporate work, litigation, and family law. Shieff Angland is committed to its Community Partnership Programme, designed to provide support for Youthtown programmes which help young people develop into the well-rounded, responsible and confident adults needed to take New Zealand forward.

About Youthtown
Youthtown aims to give young Aucklanders the chance to express themselves, develop skills and build self-esteem, in safe, open and stimulating environments. It also seeks to provide parents with the certain knowledge that their children are being looked after in safety when they themselves are busy working.

The not-for-profit organisation is both one of Auckland’s longest established youth charities, with roots that go back to the depression years of the 1930s, AND a pace-setter in providing interesting and challenging out-of-school activities.

Youthtown wants young people to experience “the challenge of choice”. A typical School Holiday Programme for the 7 to 13 age group can include archery, blo-karting, mountain biking, horse-riding, wall-climbing, basketball, soccer, unihoc, badminton and table tennis, along with drama classes, cookery and art sessions, quizzes, DJing, chess and board games.

A similar but scaled-down menu is available every weekday during the school term on Youthtown’s After School Programme. For the 13-18 age group, the organisation offers an “Urban Youth Programme”, along with special projects such as this year’s Short Film Challenge, designed to identify “the next Peter Jackson”.

Summer and ski camps also form part of the Youthtown mix, as does water sports tuition. Basketball is a long-standing Youthtown strength, with the organisation fielding representative Auckland teams in national competitions.

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