Community projects score Raggamuffin support

By Kristin Macfarlane

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Rotorua's Te Whakapono Trust is one of two community projects which will benefit from this year's annual Raggamuffin festival.

It is less than two weeks before Raggamuffin 2013 comes to Rotorua on February 1 and 2, featuring a host of top acts, including UB40, Toots and the Maytals and Lauryn Hill.

Raggamuffin organisers have announced the event will support two vital community projects - Rotorua's Te Whakapono Trust and the Samoa Victim Support Group, devastated by last year's Cyclone Evan.

Organiser Jackie Sanders said this year's support of the Te Whakapono Trust continues Raggamuffin's two-year association.

Last year Raggamuffin raised about $5000 for a Rotovegas Youth Health centre project and this year funds raised will go toward buying ultra-sound technology at Rotorua Hospital. This equipment helps ease pain and distress caused to kidney dialysis patients locating access to veins.

This project is particularly suited to supporters of Raggamuffin as there is a high prevalence of diabetes/kidney disease among Maori and Polynesians.

The money will be raised from donations through Raggamuffin's AWOP pay system.

Te Whakapono Trust chairwoman Philippa Wills said she was thankful to Raggamuffin and AWOP.

She said at the end of Raggamuffin, Te Whakapono Trust representatives would be asking those using the AWOP pay system if they wanted to donate the leftover amounts to the trust.

"We're very grateful to Raggamuffin and AWOP for the ability to ask the people," she said.

The Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) provides care and support to victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The group's work is critical in educating families, law enforcement authorities, and others about domestic violence.

Raggamuffin will run a series of auctions on Trade Me which will include Pacific VIP tickets and creations donated by artists who can be seen at work at the event in the Raggamuffin Art Zone. All proceeds will go directly to SVSG.

Meanwhile, promoters are disappointed to inform Raggamuffin fans that Alborosie is no longer available to perform.

He has made himself unavailable and won't be able to come to New Zealand. Ms Sanders said this was very disappointing to the promoter but a very good replacement was being negotiated. Details will be announced soon.

For details on Raggamuffin and a programme of the acts, visit www.raggamuffin.co.nz.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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