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Max Foundation enhancing and inspiring NZ Women

For immediate release 24th June 2008

Max Foundation enhancing and inspiring New Zealand Women

The Max Foundation for New Zealand Women has announced the recent recipients for its latest round of funding. The Foundation which launched in February 08 is about enhancing and inspiring the wellbeing and advancement of New Zealand women through sponsorships and support strategies.

The recipients include Pink Pilates - a Pilate’s program designed to facilitate the recovery and rehabilitation of woman suffering from breast cancer; Beijing Olympic hurdling hopeful Andrea Millar, Wellington artist Kelly Thompson and Shining Stars - a Napier based life mentoring program that pairs at risk youths with a big sister.

Over 140 entries were received by the Foundation for selection and applicants stood to receive over $16,000.00. The money was raised by profits donated from the sale of Max Foundation for New Zealand Women tote bags sold throughout the country in all Max stores.

Foundation Trustee Sandy Burgham said she was pleased by the calibre of the applicants.

``The trustees had a difficult decision to pick only four recipients as most of the applications were truly inspiring but in the end we’re confident we’ve made a fantastic choice.’’

Max has been in operation for 22 years and has over that time supported various non-profit organisations and individuals that benefit women. In this spirit Max created the charitable trust known as the Max Foundation for New Zealand in February of this year, with Trustees including Max Fashion’s Managing Director Mary Devine, Marketing Director Sandy Burgham, broadcaster Kerre Woodham, Editor in Chief of Woman’s Day Megan McChesney, Netballer Adine Wilson and TV personality Ella Henry. Rather than align to one specific non-profit organisation the Max Foundation is accessible to all women throughout New Zealand.

Any person who would like themselves, their group or organisation to be considered for Foundation funding should go online to www.maxfoundation.co.nz.

For Press Enquiries contact:
Rebecca Flavell / showroom@beat.net.nz / Ph: 09 361 2328 / Mb: 021 758 252

Background of Recipients

Pink Pilates, founded by Auckland physiotherapist and Pilates clinician Lou James, is a fitness programme dedicated to helping women diagnosed with breast cancer. Pink Pilates is designed to facilitate recovery from surgery and prevent common side effects that go along with cancer treatment. Pink Pilates is about empowering women, allowing breast cancer sufferers to regain their physical strength, improve their body confidence and incorporate exercise into their lifestyle. Currently run out of the Ponsonby Pilates studio re:ab, Lou is raising money to develop a Pink Pilates training program to help breast cancer sufferers throughout New Zealand. The Max Foundation for New Zealand Women has pledged $8,500.00 to help Pink Pilates achieve this goal.

Olympic hopeful hurdler Andrea Miller wouldn’t let a few bumps in the road stop her from becoming a champion athlete. In the lead up to the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games Andrea fell during a training session and was seriously injured, resulting in surgery in 2003 to relieve a compressed nerve. Struck by another blow she was told by her surgeon that she would never again be able to compete as a 100m hurdler. Not allowing her dream to be crushed she persevered and after two years of rehabilitation Andrea has gone on to break the New Zealand National Record five times and the New Zealand Resident Record twice. The next stage of Andrea’s journey is to attempt to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. The Max Foundation for New Zealand Women has pledged $4,000.00 to help with funding for Andrea’s trip to Europe so she can meet her goal of qualify for the Beijing Olympics later this year.

Shining Stars is a youth mentoring program which matches 10 at risk young girls with 10 successful young women in study. Run by the Napier Family Centre, a not for profit social services organisation, the Shining Stars Mentor program aims to alleviate the difficulties faced by today’s youth by having them participate in a wide range of activities specifically designed to promote valuable life skills and high self esteem. The Max Foundation for New Zealand Women has pledged $2,500.00 towards the development of the Shining Stars Mentor Programme workshops along with $1,000 worth of Max clothing vouchers for the dedicated Shining Stars mentors.

Wellington artist, illustrator and photographer Kelly Thompson recently had her first art exhibition in Wellington. On the success of the Wellington exhibition she has made plans to show her beautiful, fashion inspired art in Auckland during Air New Zealand Fashion Week 2008. The Max Foundation for New Zealand Women has pledged $1,700.00 towards materials and set up costs for her exhibition at ANZFW in September.

- Ends -

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