(L to R) Scott McKay, Karen Kelly, Dane Dougan and Don Graham with the cheque for Autism NZ.
(L to R) Scott McKay, Don Graham, Pat McEntee Countdown CEO, Karen Kelly and Dane Dougan.
(L to R) Scott McKay, Don Graham, Pat McEntee Countdown CEO, Karen Kelly and Dane Dougan.

The Grocery Charity Ball has raised a total of $2.764 million for various charities over the last 11 years.

This year’s event, a Disco theme, was held in August at The Langham in Auckland and supported by many industry members, including Sanitarium, Sealord and Countdown. The event involved fund-raising auctions and Grocery Charity Ball Trustees Scott MacKay, Karen Kelly and Don Graham were delighted to present Autism NZ CEO Dane Dougan with a $202,000 cheque for the charity.

The Trustees, together with Dougan, also visited several companies recently to present a certificate of thanks to all of them for their support with the 2015 Grocery Charity Ball.

Looking ahead, Coastguard Auckland has been chosen by the Grocery Charity Ball Trust as their next charity partner for the 2016 Grocery Charity Ball, which will take place at the Langham Hotel on Saturday 3rd September 2016.

(L to R) Scott McKay, Dane Dougan, Steven Andrew, Mark Roper of Sanitarium, Karen Kelly and Don Graham.
(L to R) Scott McKay, Dane Dougan, Steven Andrew, Mark Roper of Sanitarium, Karen Kelly and Don Graham.

“Coastguard Auckland is very excited about this opportunity which will provide significant awareness for our cause and also much needed funding.  In a highly competitive donor market the funds raised will certainly provide us with a financial platform to further invest in specialist training and skills development for our 180 volunteer crew members,” says Coastguard Auckland Fundraising Manager, Karen Schade.

“The fact that our Search and Rescue crews are all volunteers who not only invest a huge amount of time, effort and selfless commitment to the community, but also at times risks their own lives, resonated with the Grocery Charity Ball Trustees. Not too many people realise that Coastguard rescue vessels are crewed entirely by volunteers and all go through rigorous training to obtain the various Search and Rescue (SAR) qualifications required to be a Coastguard crew member. Training and development is ongoing and the ultimate goal for many is to move their way up through the ranks to become qualified Skippers on our rescue vessels and also hand down their knowledge and skills to less experienced or junior crew,” she says.

(L to R) Scott McKay, Karen Kelly, Dane Dougan and Don Graham with the cheque for Autism NZ.
(L to R) Scott McKay, Karen Kelly, Dane Dougan and Don Graham with the cheque for Autism NZ.

“Together, our vessels and crew are the conduit that allows Coastguard Auckland to remove distress, to bring people home safely to their families when they experience potentially life threatening challenges at sea. Having skilled and well trained crew is paramount to being the best we can be at saving lives on and off the water.”

“The Grocery Ball funds will also support the operational and maintenance costs of our three search and rescue vessels – Lion Foundation Rescue, ASB Rescue and Trillian Rescue Alpha.”

“Our organisation is very grateful to the Trustees for choosing Coastguard Auckland as their charity ball recipient for 2016, and we look forward to working with the Trust to make this a successful event.” Karen Schade says.

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