Over $33,000 raised for White Ribbon at HighLight Festival and Ara Mai! Te Whiti Riser Night Walk

The HighLight: Carnival of Lights has been running for the past three years and over four nights during Labour Weekend the city is transformed by dazzling displays of light-based artworks. This free community event draws families from throughout the region and beyond to engage with interactive art. It is a truly joyous event and we were so honoured to be selected as the charity partner this year.

“We are extremely grateful to Hutt City Council and to the enormous number of volunteers who gave their time to make the event possible and help raise funds to prevent men’s violence against women,” says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Manager. “A combined total of over $33,000  was raised for White Ribbon at HighLight in October and the Ara Mai! Te Whiti Riser Night Walk in September and the team are absolutely stoked.”

While White Ribbon is a national charity, the funds will enhance and expand local projects and programmes that will assist community groups in their violence prevention activities.

“We especially want to thank two local businesses who went above and beyond,” says Mr McCann. Mitre10 Mega Petone purchased 6,000 rave sticks and staff volunteers sold them throughout the event.

“They raised an astounding $18,000 which is the largest single donation we have ever received from a business and it will have a huge impact on what we can offer in the region,” said Mr McCann.

“The team at Macaulay Metals used their incredible skills to produce a remarkable work for HighLight called Time Travel Machine that recalls a famous phone booth of unexpected dimensions, known to sci-fi fans worldwide. Visitors queued for the chance to enter this surreal space and at the end of HighLight Macaulay Metals auctioned it on TradeMe for White Ribbon’s benefit raising $5000 to help White Ribbon’s work in the community.”

“In addition to the vital funds raised, HighLight also gave us the opportunity to spread the White Ribbon kaupapa in the community, with over 100,000 people visiting over the four days. We are also very grateful to the White Ribbon Riders who came along with their motorbikes to connect with visitors and have deeper discussions about the work they do throughout the year. The Riders challenge stereotypes and ensure schools and communities are fully aware that respectful relationships are at the heart of violence prevention.”

Throughout New Zealand we have White Ribbon Ambassadors who are willing to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence in their communities. They are a diverse group, who come from all walks of life, and are essential to White Ribbon.

“As a charity, we rely on our Ambassadors and their reach into local communities to build relationships and spread the message that violence is never ok. Ambassadors from throughout the Wellington region helped make this wonderful opportunity a success by volunteering at Highlight as well as co-ordinating behind the scenes.”

“Charities often struggle to raise the funds needed to continue their work. Hutt City Council, Mitre 10 Mega Petone, Macaulay Metals and all those who assisted at HighLight have provided our White Ribbon team with an incredible opportunity to support violence prevention in the region. We thank you all for your support.”

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