Martine Rolls: Your chance to show support


There are a lot of charities that are worth supporting, and it's not always easy to decide which one to donate time, expertise or money to.

My pick is always a not-for-profit organisation that works locally and has significance for me personally.

Whenever I clear out my closets I take the goods to the Waipuna Hospice depot just off Fraser St.

I could put them up for sale in online auctions but I'd rather have the hospice shop sell it so it can raise funds for its important work.

Each year, I also assist the Stroke Foundation Midland Region with its annual raffle and I help the organisation out where needed with its website strokemidland.org.nz.

My father had a massive stroke when he was just 48 so I know first-hand how it affects people and their families.

I also know there are many misconceptions about stroke, so I am happy to help the local Stroke Foundation whenever I can.

It struggles to get funding, so if you care about this like I do, then please go to its website and make a donation online.

Little things can make a huge difference and I do know that fundraising is incredibly hard for all charities, especially in today's tough economic climate.

But I also know that there are many caring people out there who do give.

If it wasn't for them, New Zealand would be a much uglier place for many.

The trick for fundraising managers is to find as many volunteers as possible to help organise an event as big as possible.

Tauranga will turn pink tonight, and even though I'm not a big fan of the colour, dressing up in it for a good cause is quite all right.

It will be so much fun for everyone there tonight at the 10th anniversary of the annual ASB Women's Walk for Breast Cancer, better known as "the pink walk".

It's an event that celebrates life as well as early detection and awareness of breast cancer.

The weather forecast is great, and it's expected that lots of people will get last-minute entry.

The walk is getting bigger each year, and the crazier the costumes, the better.

If you want to go but haven't got enough time to create something original, then a pink T-shirt or scarf will be just fine.

Look out for a huge photo gallery of all the pink madness on this website tomorrow.

For those late deciders, you can still buy a ticket today for $5 from Smiths Sports Shoes on the corner of Grey St and Elizabeth St or the ASB Bank in Mid-City Mall.

And for last-minute entries, just head to Masonic Park on The Strand as you can also enter there.

All proceeds of the Pink Walk go to the Tauranga Breast Cancer Support Service Trust.

The trust is a group of breast cancer survivors who work locally with women affected by the disease.

They offer emotional and practical support. Find more about them on breastcancerbop.org.nz

Another event that local women have started to gear up for is Tarnished Frocks and Divas.

It's a biennial performing arts exhibition and fashion show with a real difference which also has its beginning with a story of a local woman who lost her battle with cancer.

Her friends came together after she passed away, and created a fabulous show that celebrates life.

There have been four shows so far, and the event is getting bigger and better each time.

The team behind Tarnished Frocks and Divas is incredibly creative, always fresh and original, and it's empowering to be involved. The Tarnished Frocks and Divas show is planned for next year, but the first event leading up to this will take place at Mills Reef Winery on November 14.

It's called Dialogue with Divas, and it will be a night of entertainment and a walk down memory lane with Divas and volunteers from previous shows.

Tickets are available at Creative Tauranga on the corner of Willow St and more information can be found on Facebook.

That's also the place to go if you'd like to know more about volunteering for the 2013 event, or check out their website.

If you are organising an event for charity too, no matter how big or small, make sure to let us know.

You can reach the Bay of Plenty Times on freephone 0800 253 253, or you can submit your story using the contribute box on the right of this page.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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