Celebrities club together for Charlotte fundraiser

By Stuart Dye

Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman's fight for life against meningitis was only the beginning. Now two years old, she and her parents face a new battle - giving her the best chance in life possible.

At just six months, Charlotte became the face of the meningococcal vaccine campaign after the disease ravaged her body, leaving her with stumps instead of arms and legs.

Yesterday, she found herself centre of attention once again, as 23 celebrity teams played golf and held a charity auction.

Organiser Geoff Adams, managing director of SureSlim Wellness Clinic, said he had been deeply moved by Charlotte's plight and her family's ongoing financial struggle to provide full-time care and raise money for future surgery and prosthetics.

"Due to Charlotte's unique condition, disability and age, she falls through the gaps within most social support agencies, which means the family has to survive on meagre benefits that are not enough to cope with the complex nature of her disability."

Among the players at the Gulf Harbour Country Club were Craig Innes, Joe Stanley, Marc Ellis, Ian Jones, Grant Fox, Ofisa Tonu'u, Frano Botica and April Bruce.

The auction included memorabilia signed by Michael Campbell. The proceeds will all go towards giving Charlotte the chance for mobility.

Charlotte's father, Perry Bisman, said the money would go a long way to helping his daughter's future.

"We are quite overwhelmed by the generosity and humanity shown to us," he said.

* Anyone wanting to make a donation can make cheques payable to Baby Charlotte Golf Day and send them to PO Box 33-904 Takapuna, Auckland. The golf day and charity auction raised $73,000.

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