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Charity ball to raise funds for Darfur

Thursday September 28, 2006

Charity ball to raise funds for Darfur

Invitations and travel to Monaco's prestigious annual Red Cross Ball held under the patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert, lunch with the 18th Earl of Pembroke at his stately English home featuring a ₤250 million art collection, and the stunning Dior dress designed especially for Sharon Stone to wear to Cannes Film Festival.

These are just some of the auction prizes up for offer at the most glamorous event of 2006 - the Hanover White Tie and Diamonds Ball.

The Hanover White Tie and Diamonds Ball on October 14 is in support of the New Zealand Red Cross which this year celebrates 75 years of service. The Red Cross's tireless work and commitment of their global movement is acknowledged as an unstoppable force of help and compassion during peace and war.

All profits raised from the event will go to the International Red Cross movement to aid the millions of homeless people of Sudan's western region of Darfur who are right now experiencing a horrific humanitarian crisis.

Hanover Group co-founder Mark Hotchin says the terrible tragedy in Darfur makes for a very worthy cause and one the business is proud to support.

"Hanover has three core values; Inspiration - Cohesion - Integrity. These same three values could be said of the work of the Red Cross which inspires others to work together, with integrity, towards the common goal of improving the lives of the most vulnerable." Mr Hotchin says.

"The ball has been planned to help raise funds to support the magnificent work of the Red Cross and their much needed work in the Darfur region, where civil unrest has left millions poverty stricken and homeless." he says.

New Zealand Red Cross national communications manager Karl Ferguson says there are millions of people suffering in Darfur who need help.

"The Red Cross is providing much needed shelter to displaced people, distributing essential food aid, and providing life saving medical assistance through mobile surgical teams. Specialist New Zealand Red Cross staff are also in Sudan undertaking essential humanitarian work.

"Here in New Zealand no matter how much we struggle with our individual and very real problems, we are incredibly wealthy compared to the people of Darfur. Any financial assistance that New Zealanders can provide is not only greatly needed, but greatly appreciated as well," Mr Ferguson says.

MCs for the Hanover White Tie and Diamonds Ball are television maestro and radio broadcaster Paul Holmes and TV personality Charlotte Dawson. As well as the auction, entertainment will be provided by award-winning comedian Dai Henwood, dynamic vocal trio Viva la Diva and the exhilarating Candy Lane Dancers.

And you don't have to don a white tie or diamonds to help the cause. To make a donation simply go to www.redcross.org.nz and click on 'donate now' or call 0900 33 200 to make an automatic $20 donation which will be added to your telephone bill.

*********

ABOUT THE CRISIS IN DARFUR UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has declared Darfur "little short of hell on earth"; Colin Powell has described the crisis as genocide.

At least 2.5 million people are displaced, driven from their homes, their villages torched and their property stolen. Three and a half million are dependent on international food relief. The UN estimates that only half of the people who need aid are receiving it.

Some of the victims have escaped to neighboring Chad, but most are trapped inside Darfur. Thousands die each month from the effects of inadequate food, water, health care, and shelter in a harsh desert environment, afraid to return home. The region is fraught with danger and political tension, in July alone, nine aid workers were killed.

ENDS

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