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More than 300,000 reasons for hope in Darfur

News release
Thursday November 2, 2006

More than 300,000 reasons for hope in Darfur

Glamorous and generous and all for a good cause. The Hanover White Tie and Diamonds Ball was not only one of the most glamorous events on Auckland’s social calendar but it was also one of the most generous.

The mid-October charity event held in aid of New Zealand Red Cross raised more than $300,000 for the displaced and suffering people of Darfur.

The funds raised will be used to focus on people in remote, rural areas who are cut off from migratory routes by the conflict and have difficulty in reaching markets or health care centres.

Auckland’s Victoria Park Market was transformed for a night into a magical setting where the champagne flowed, the entertainment dazzled and guests dug deep for the grand auction.

An invitation to attend Monaco’s prestigious annual Red Cross Ball held under the patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert was the biggest prize on the night fetching an impressive $41,000.

The Air New Zealand sponsored packages proved the most sought-after with the Air NZ Business Premier around the world trip, which included lunch with the 18th Earl of Pembroke at his stately English home and a game of golf in LA with Oceans Eleven Hollywood star Don Cheadle, reaching a cool $35,000.

And Air New Zealand again attracted another huge bid for its Business Premier trip for two on the new route to Shanghai. It includes a day with Ben Shipley and his marketing company ConfuciusSay getting valuable insider advice to doing business in China.

An Air New Zealand Business Class trip to Rarotonga staying in Paul Webb’s (Dragon’s Den fame) house for a week with a full household staff to cater to every whim went for $25,000.

All profits raised by the Hanover White Tie and Diamonds Ball go to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and will be used to:

• Provide water, food and shelter to displaced people, including maintaining a temporary Red Cross camp housing 128,000 people who have had to flee their homes due to the conflict.
• Install hand pumps, dig wells and provide seed and farm implements to those who have been able to remain in their homes and on their land, and have a prospect of maintaining a sustainable livelihood.
• Maintain a mobile surgical team to undertake essential and life saving operations on people who have no access to hospitals or emergency care.

New Zealand Red Cross this year celebrates 75 years of service. Its tireless work and commitment to global aid means the Red Cross is acknowledged as an unstoppable force of help and compassion during peace and war.

Hanover Group Co-Founder Mark Hotchin says the organisation is thrilled with the outcome of the event.

“We’re delighted with the support shown for the Hanover White Tie and Diamonds Ball from those who bought tickets through to bidders who contributed so generously during the charity auction.

“The organisers of the Hanover White Tie and Diamonds Ball, and all the individuals and companies who donated goods and services to make the event possible, created an amazing event and an opportunity for people to help make a difference,” Mr Hotchin says.

“It’s very pleasing to have helped raise such a substantial sum for a very worthy cause. We know the Red Cross will put it to very good use to help improve the circumstances of Sudanese affected by conflict in the region.”

New Zealand Red Cross National President Jocelyn Keith says the total is the largest sum raised by a single public fundraising event for a New Zealand Red Cross appeal, and will make a big difference to the lives of the people of Darfur.

“New Zealanders have always been most generous in their donations and trust in Red Cross. We owe them and the organisers of this extraordinary event our very special thanks.

“These funds will enable the Red Cross to ensure that the most vulnerable people have access to medical care, shelter, food and water, as well as information so that they can decide when it is safe to return home,” she says.

ends


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.


Ends

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