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SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust Recipients

10 September 2004
SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust Recipients Recognised

SKYCITY will officially recognise the 2004 SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust grant recipients at a celebratory cocktail function on Monday 13 September 2004 (6pm - 8pm), that features performances by StarJam (a talented group of young disabled performers).

In attendance at the function, being held at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, will be representatives from the 113 community groups that received funding in the Trust's 10th funding round - the biggest to date - with more than $3 million dollars distributed.

Jock Irvine, Chairman, of the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust, says that the Trust is delighted to have the opportunity to personally meet and congratulate individuals from groups that have received funding for a wide range of initiatives which will benefit the wider Auckland community.

"The grant amounts ranged from just over $300 for the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society to subsidise attendance at a first aid course, through to $200,000 for Special Olympics New Zealand, to support life skills and leadership programmes," said Mr Irvine.

"Grants have been awarded to worthy groups from a variety of different sectors including arts, culture and entertainment; education; community, health and welfare; medical; rescue and emergency; sport, recreation and lifeskills; and tourism.

"The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust is a positive way for SKYCITY Auckland to give back to the community and, to date, the Trust has distributed over $15 million in grants to more than 600 Community Groups, large and small," he said.

The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust Cocktail Function will be held in the New Zealand room of the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre (level 5). The evening will comprise canapés and drinks on arrival for the 180 or so guests, certificates for each successful organisation, a welcome speech and details about the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust and how it operates, as well as the chance to mix and mingle with fellow Trust recipients and Trustees.

As well as StarJam, entertainment will be provided on the night by the St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra and the NBR New Zealand Opera (performing an aria from Carmen).

The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust has supported StarJam in this current funding round with funding granted to purchase musical instruments and a PA system to use in production of their shows ($13,088).

It was established in 1996, as part of the SKYCITY Ltd casino licence application process, to provide funds for community and charitable purposes. The independent Trust aims to help local and regional organisations carry out community assistance and development work, focusing on projects related to health and education, tourism and entertainment and arts and culture.

In the first quarter of every year, the Trust invites applications for grants from a wide range of community and charitable organisations. Funds available for distribution are 2.5% of the net annual profit from SKYCITY Auckland Ltd or a minimum of $500,000 per annum.

StarJam, begun by Roy and Julie Bartlett, creates opportunities for young people with disabilities to go centre-stage with celebrities of their choice, expressing their unique talents and gifts. StarJam events such as "Stars Thru Their Eyes" show the world what disabled kids have to give.

List of StarJam performers performing musical numbers "The World's Greatest", "Bring it all back" and "Joy to the World" on Monday night:

- Ese and Limoni Aumelsulusulu from Mangere - Auckland. They are talented singer/songwriters who play in the band "Limitless Vision." They attend James Cook High School. Both are longstanding centrepiece performers in "Stars Thru Their Eyes 2004". This year Ese 'jammed' with NZ Idols Ben Lummis and Michael Murphy.

- Arthur Pirika lives in Manurewa. He's interested in music composition, swimming and blind cricket. He attends "Kickstart" programme for the vision-impaired. At "Stars Thru Their Eyes 2003" Arthur interviewed Judy Bailey.

- Natalie Brunzel has finished her English and media studies degree through Massey University and now works as the information coordinator at CCS. She's an accomplished singer and published poet, and has taken lead MC roles in "Stars Thru Their Eyes". She also interviewed Mikey Havoc last year, much to everyone's amusement. Natalie lives on the North Shore.

- Moana Mani is a musician from South Auckland, who plays a key role on vocals with Ese and Limoni in "Limitless Vision".

- Jonathan Heaps is also a musician and songwriter, living in Onehunga. Last year at "Stars Thru Their Eyes" he interviewed Martin Crowe. Jonathan has been the face of Braille Week, been a guest of Paul Holmes and sung with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

- Samantha Kalolo lives in Grey Lynn and is a student at St Marys College. She is a beautiful singer, and plays piano and flute. She wants to be a lawyer. This year at "Stars Thru Their Eyes" she interviewed and jammed with King Kapisi. King Kapisi was so bowled over he donated $1,000 worth of his label "Overstayer" to her and her friends on the spot.

- Daniel Gourlay, who lives in Takapuna, travelled to LA in July to screen a once-in-a-lifetime interview with Danny deVito, that was screened at "Stars Thru Their Eyes" this year. He is a natural talent at dancing and has performed in many choreographed pieces at Star Jam events, and the mass dance pieces. He loves ten-pin bowling and golf. He also interviewed Kate Hawkesby live.

- Kimberley McLean lives in Takapuna and attends Takapuna Grammar School. She is a wonderful wheelchair dancer. At "Stars Thru Their Eyes" this year she interviewed David Wikaira-Paul, Shortland St actor.

For more information on StarJam visit


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