Three methuselah wine bottles painted for charity by Kiwi artists achieved a combined $50,000 at auction, during the inaugural Night Of Us event in Hastings.
The six-litre bottles combine premium wine from New Zealand's best winemakers with the work of three prestigious New Zealand artists – Dick Frizzell, Martin Poppelwell and Freeman White.
Event organisers Kim Thorp and John (Mac) Macpherson, who first envisioned a community fundraising event to benefit Hawke's Bay Foundation back in 2019, say they've been overwhelmed at the warm reception both the concept, and the bottles, have received.
"It was great to look out at a packed Opera House and get a real feeling of empathy and generosity coming back at us from people embracing the story we wanted to tell," says Kim.
One of the charities set to benefit is Nourished for Nil, a food rescue organisation that was announced as the recipient of a new $25,000 endowment through Hawke's Bay Foundation.
Nourished for Nil founder Christina McBeth says the endowment, the interest from which will fund her small team of staff and volunteers to continue collecting and providing food at their three locations, is gratefully received.
"For two years, we have been a recipient of funds generated by the general endowment of the Hawke's Bay Foundation," McBeth says.
"We are a living, breathing example of how the model of pooled community gifts are invested to deliver sustainable support. Having our own endowment fund at Hawke's Bay Foundation is a remarkable gift that will be there forever."
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A colourful collaboration between winemaker Tony Bish and renowned artist Dick Frizzell was first to go under the hammer, fetching $16,500.
Te Awanga Estate had been matched with Martin Poppelwell, who also included separate ceramic elements in the auction lot. It was this work that attained the highest auction price of the night - $17,500.
Te Mata Estate and landscape artist Freeman White's stunning methuselah wrapped up the auction component of the evening, their bottle selling for $16,000.
Each art bottle was accompanied by a second six-litre bottle for the winner to enjoy, and a third bottle donated to the artist.
Hawke's Bay Foundation Trustee Jules Nowell-Usticke says the event was pivotal in explaining to the assembled audience how Hawke's Bay Foundation works - pooling community funds, never spending them, and distributing the annual income.
The Night of Us team is already in the planning stages for a 2022 event – the shape and timing of which is yet to be determined.