Nearly 700 people, the most ever, enjoyed the first night of Spring at a gala evening with their colleagues at the Langham Hotel in Auckland. And at the same time, raised a breath-arresting sum of money for the 2012 beneficiary charity – Look Good Feel Better – which pushed the total amount raised by the Charity Balls over the years to over $2milllion.
Ten New Zealand charities have now benefited from the generosity of the industry since the Grocery Charity Ball Trust was set up in 2004. It is generosity that has given these ten charities a huge hand up, enabling them to go on and achieve bigger and better things in the New Zealand community.
But it is not only the generous giving the evening has become synonymous with.
Like other years, the Grocery Charity Ball proved to be a fabulous night of fun, food and entertainment as repeat emcee – breakfast radio jock and comedian, Jeremy Corbett - did his best to keep the partygoers focused.
One of the focus-losing culprits was (as usual) the Grocery Charity Ball Trust Chair. "It was a GREAT night," parried a jocund Don Graham, "and it was fabulous that everyone gave such fantastic support to Look Good Feel Better. Every year, I keep saying that this year we had the best charity ever on board. And I'll say it again!"
The evening also feted one of the grocery industry's evergreen achievers – the remarkable Ron Vela. Chair of the Food & Grocery Council, George Adams, made a formal presentation to Ron Vela of a Lifetime Achiever Award – breaking from the Ball tradition that has seen three ‘Peters' take the award in the past - Peter Mitchell, Peter McClure and Peter Burton.
The 2013 Beneficiary is Steps for Life, a non-profit organisation founded by Monty Betham in 2009. The Foundation is dedicated to reducing the rate of obesity which affects 1 in 12 New Zealand children and 1 in 4 New Zealand adults.
You can see photos of the Ball at the Grocery Charity Ball Photo Stream by clicking here. Or view the official photo's on the QuikPix website.