No Beer for a Year Fundraiser

White Ribbon is thrilled to be one of three beneficiaries of an innovative fundraising campaign by Ben Karl that seeks to raise awareness of New Zealand’s binge drinking culture.

Born and raised in Rotorua and now studying engineering science at University in Auckland, sports fan Ben found himself reflecting on the heavy drinking he was doing each weekend and decided it was time to stop and highlight the issue of New Zealand’s drinking culture and the impact it is having on individuals, families and communities. Ben noted: “After waking up one morning, hungover, I found myself reflecting on the past couple of years of my life. Since when did buying two boxes each weekend become routine? Why is this kind of behaviour considered so normal in New Zealand? Why is it that minimal concern has been expressed for my mental and physical health? At that moment, I knew something had to be done to spread awareness around this issue.”

Ben loves to help others and decided that it was time to tick a fundraiser off his personal bucket list. He chose to support the Salvation Army because of the drug and alcohol support they offer and their broader community support in these challenging times. Both White Ribbon and the Gumboot Friday charity were chosen as Ben believes domestic violence and depression are closely related to alcohol abuse. A lot of his close friends and family have been victims of domestic violence and have had mental health problems too, so the ambitions of both charities are something that he is really passionate about.

Ben’s goal is to raise awareness around this issue. He wants New Zealanders to confront the issue of alcohol abuse in our society and reflect on our own alcohol use. Ben asks: “Is it healthy? Are you affecting yourself or others as a result of it? Maybe take a weekend off the booze to enjoy the more beautiful things in life and chuck your booze money in the givealittle if you want to, it is for a good cause.” We certainly concur!

We are really grateful to Ben for his support of White Ribbon’s kaupapa and for the much-needed funds that will help us to continue to work to prevent violence. If you have an idea for a fundraiser, please get in touch ( we would love to see how we can help.

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