Belles dine out for child cancer

By Alice Lock

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GREAT SUPPORT: Marea Carney (left) and Amelia Riwai, both of Napier, smiling for a good cause at the Business Belles Charity lunch held at the Mission Estate Winery and Restaurant last Friday. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN
GREAT SUPPORT: Marea Carney (left) and Amelia Riwai, both of Napier, smiling for a good cause at the Business Belles Charity lunch held at the Mission Estate Winery and Restaurant last Friday. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN

More than 150 women came flooding through the Mission doors to help raise a record $30,000 for the Child Cancer Foundation.

The Black and White Business Belles held their second charity lunch and auction last Friday.

Child Cancer Foundation Hawke's Bay business development manager Vicky Rope said it was a really nice occasion with lots of women coming together for a good cause.

"There was such an amazing vibe in the room, as child cancer is at the centre of most mothers' hearts."

Amanda brought the cause home speaking about her journey with her son Liam, who was diagnosed with Langerhans Cells Histiocytosis when he was 4.

"It was very emotional as most people never imagine it happening to them. To hear it first-hand was incredibly moving," Ms Rope said.

She said it was amazing to hear about the young boy's tenacity, vibrancy and strength.

"He had completed a number of achievements including national standards at school and extra co-curricular activities, he was the definition of a hero."

Amanda spoke about the importance of her relationship with the Child Cancer Foundation and how it helped her family go through this tough time.

"Their support and understanding make a difficult situation easier to bear. It could be lending an ear over a cup of tea, helping to make sense of his treatment, or organising exciting events for the children - Child Cancer Foundation are always there for us," Amanda said.

An auction followed the lunch with "incredible" packages donated by local businesses.

"We had a car featuring over 300 All Blacks signatures, a framed and signed Hurricanes jersey, romantic getaways to Taupo and Wellington, a tradie for a day and much, much more."

The Business Belles were established by Black and White Accounting five years ago and have continued to develop.

Kirsten Wise from Black and White Accounting said they now had over 40 women involved.

Ms Rope said she was overwhelmed by support from the Business Belles and local businesses that contributed.

"We are so grateful for them once again supporting children like Liam and their families."

The Child Cancer Foundation is a stand-alone charity.

"The foundation relies on the generosity of New Zealanders to help it deliver its support to families when they need it most."

All of the money raised from the lunch and auction went straight to the Child Cancer Foundation and Ms Rope cannot thank everyone enough.

"The Business Belles Committee is a very generous and hard-working group of women and the work they do impacts the lives of many."

This was the most successful charity lunch to date, topping the last one by $12,000 and 45 women.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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