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Colourful auction raises $26,000 for sexual abuse survivors

Colourful auction raises $26,000 for sexual abuse survivors

On March 19th, KPMG’s Auckland Viaduct office was awash with purple, as local celebrities, community dignitaries, Aucklanders and HELP staff donned their purple glad-rags for the fifth annual Colour Me Purple Charity Auction.

A long-time provider of specialised services for Auckland women and children who have experienced sexual abuse or assault, HELP relies heavily on fundraising and donations to support those in need in the community. Their services include 24/7 crisis services, therapy services for youth, children and families, justice services and preschool safety programmes.

All auction items were generously donated or sponsored, meaning all proceeds go directly toward furthering HELP’s crucial work. Each year, they are overwhelmed by the generosity and support of local businesses and the community, and are thrilled to have raised over $26,000 this year.

“Colour Me Purple is our largest fundraising event, and every year we are truly amazed by the generosity of the public, from all over New Zealand, and thankful for those who show support,” says Fundraising Manager, Kathryn Michie. “Colour Me Purple brings together people inspired to join our commitment to ending sexual violence in our communities.”

Emceed by one of HELP’s most loyal supporters, the charismatic Aaron Ward, Colour Me Purple was once again a fabulous night of high-energy performances, wonderful connections and passionate public support.

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During the silent auction, guests were serenaded by jazz singer Jennifer Calvey, while enjoying refreshments from DB and Constellation Brands, and delicious canapés provided by Color Me Purple’s principle sponsor and venue provider, KPMG.

Guests were treated to performances by comedian Tarun Mohanbhai, Dancing with the Stars personality Brian Jones, with award-winning dancers Hannah Honey and George Ciprian, and Kiwi music icon Debbie Harwood, who performed a touching duet with her daughter Gala.

Those who attended were humbled to hear personal insights from several supporters, including award-winning writer Joanne Drayton, who spoke about her own experiences. “What I needed was the words to explain what had happened to me,” she says. “After that, I swore that I’d never again be without the language to express myself, which drove me to write.” Following the evening, Joanne went on to say, “I had a fabulous night, once again. It’s one of Auckland’s best kept secrets! If people knew exactly how good it was you'd be swamped! Thanks for the experience!”

Both the live and silent auctions boasted fantastic items. Beautiful New Zealand art, fashion, jewelry and wine was on offer, as well as a range of amazing experiences, including a walk-on part on Shortland Street, with local heart-throb and sexual violence prevention educator Sam Bunkall, a weekend away experiencing Waikato’s Waitomo caves and Hobbiton, and a pamper package generously donated by boutique blow wave bar and tea shop, Dry & Tea.

Scott Pickering, Chief Executive of ACC and long-time HELP supporter, spoke of HELP’s “commitment, sensitivity and strength.” In consultation with HELP and others in the sexual health sector, ACC has recently implemented a sensitive claims service, tailored specifically to those who have experienced sexual violence. “Your hard work, tenacity and the fact that you are always there to support those who need it has always amazed me,” he said.

Indeed, it is about being here. There shouldn’t be a need for HELP’s services, but there is. HELP are extremely grateful for the support of those who dressed for the occasion, and opened their hearts and wallets, so they can continue to be there for those who need them.

- Ends -

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