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Otago Polytechnic Charity House Raises $115,000 For Community Groups

Otago Polytechnic’s annual Charity House auction on Saturday November 20 raised $115,000 for a range of community groups.

Around 70 people attended the 15th Charity House auction, at which a fully furnished four-bedroom home was sold for $365,000, eclipsing the previous record (set in 2020) of $325,000.

At the conclusion of the bidding process at Otago Polytechnic’s L Block, Dr Megan Gibbons, Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive, presented Catalytic Foundation Chair John Gallaher with a cheque for $115,000.

"The auction, run by BayleysMetro, attracted a lot of interest and excitement," Dr Gibbons says.

Each year, Otago Polytechnic carpentry students have built a four-bedroom home with guidance from lecturers and the generous support of many local businesses.

"As well as raising funds for charity, the project is an excellent example of the applied learning approach that Otago Polytechnic provides for our learners," Dr Gibbons says.

"Again, it shows our people make a better world."

Catalytic Foundation (formerly United Way NZ), will distribute the funds to frontline community charities within Otago.

Mr Gallaher: "Catalytic Foundation would like to thank Otago Polytechnic, its staff and carpentry students as well as the local businesses who contributed so generously to make this project happen."

Over the past 14 years Catalytic Foundation has distributed around $1.5 million to Otago community charities - thanks to funds raised from Charity House, a project made possible through the generosity of the many sponsors who donate time and materials.

Teresa Moore, Catalytic Foundation Chief Executive, says research shows Otago charities require support this year more than ever before, due to the surge in demand for their services.

"In March 2021 we donated a further $100,000 from the Charity House auction to 26 charities in Otago.

"As community charities and not-for-profit organisations seek to address major social issues, most of them lack the operational resources and secure funding to keep essential staff employed. Covid-19 has certainly added to this strain," she says.

"The Catalytic Foundation distributes funding from the Charity House proceeds to frontline community-based charities who do not have large marketing or fundraising resources in-house. The Charity House contribution makes a significant impact to their ability to help Otago communities in need."

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