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Braille Week Appeal 2000

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-BLIND-FOUNDATION

BRAILLE WEEK APPEAL 2000

A charity auction (MC'ed by media personality John Campbell), the 2000 Blind Achiever's awards and celebrity debates led by Gary McCormick are just some of the events planned for the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind's Braille Week Appeal running from 24 to 30 October.

Organised annually for more than 35 years, Braille Week is the Foundation's main fundraising campaign. Income from the appeal makes up part of the annual $12 million the Foundation has to find each year from donations, sponsorships, bequests, direct mail, grants from trusts, and merchandising.

"It really is an important appeal for us," says Carol White, Marketing operations manager for the Foundation's national appeals.

"Each year we aim to raise over $1 million from the Braille Week Appeal and each year it gets tougher with more and more not-for- profits competing for the same charity dollar.

"We're extremely grateful for the support we receive from the New Zealand public throughout the appeal week."

On Tuesday 24 October, the appeal will be launched at the Carlton Hotel in Auckland with a charity dinner and auction at which the Foundation will announce the winners of the 2000 Blind Achiever's Awards. Six Foundation members will each receive $750 and a glass sculpture, designed by international sculptor Jo Nuttall. They will be the winners of six award categories - literature, employment/business, performing arts, art/craft, academia and sport.

Last year's winners included poet and writer Ruth Dallas, actor and presenter Minnie Baragwanath, world champion waterskier Glen Putze and potter Kelvin Falconer.

"The Achiever's awards are an excellent way of acknowledging the personal and professional successes of our members," says Suraya Dewing, Communications manager, "they also let our supporters know how their donations assist members to reach their goals.

"Although Braille Week is primarily a national door-to-door appeal, we use the opportunity to raise people's awareness of the work the Foundation does and the assistance it provides to blind and sight-impaired New Zealanders.

"The Foundation is the primary agency in New Zealand providing people who are blind or sight-impaired with the skills they need to become independent."

If people miss the door-to-door collection, they can still give to Braille Week by posting back their Braille Week envelopes, or by giving to collectors involved in regional street appeals or by supporting special events.

People can also help by becoming a volunteer. If you are interested in helping the Foundation by volunteering some of your time, please phone tollfree on 0800 BRAILLE (0800 272 4553) and you will be connected to your nearest regional event manager.

ENDS

MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE ROYAL NEW ZEALAND FOUNDATION FOR THE BLIND

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