Two-hundred guests dressed to the nines and emptied their purses for young cancer sufferers on Saturday night.

To mark a quarter of a century of fundraising, the evening ball, dinner, and charity auction was held instead of the annual Child Cancer Foundation Charity Breakfast.

Professionals McDowell Real Estate co-owner Steve Lovegrove said the venue at Novotel was at capacity, and together the generous group raised just under $35,000, buying auctioned items including a Mazda car, e-bikes, mountain bikes and art.

Sparkle for Life!!! It’s not to late to bid for this beauty!! Get your bids in now!! http://www.trademe.co.nz/2199138377

Posted by Rotorua Professionals McDowell Real Estate on Friday, 28 June 2019

"It's just a sign of the character of Rotorua. This is an exceptional place when it comes to generosity. We have come here from Auckland where people can be a lot more self-centred. The people here should be really proud. We have a city that operates like a small town."

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Over the past 25 years, more than $5 million has been collectively raised by Professionals offices nationwide for the foundation, and of that $720,000 has been by Professionals McDowell in Rotorua.

Sparkle for Life!!! Live auction !!!

Posted by Rotorua Professionals McDowell Real Estate on Saturday, 29 June 2019

"There are now people in their 20s that were kids with cancer when we started fundraising."

Lovegrove said councillor Charles Sturt bought a painting done by a child at one of the first events and now, in a kind gesture, was returning it to the artist, who is an adult.

Professionals McDowell marketing manager Stevie Jones preparing for the Sparkle Ball. Photo / Ben Fraser
Professionals McDowell marketing manager Stevie Jones preparing for the Sparkle Ball. Photo / Ben Fraser

Lovegrove said Rotorua businesses had ensured the event grew every year by donating valuable items for the charity auction.

"Large and small businesses have been willing to help. Sometimes I think we don't recognise them enough but that's not why they do it, they do it out of the kindness of their heart."

UPDATE SPARKLE FOR LIFE!! We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday! Thank you to all who have donated auction items and purchased tickets!😊

Posted by Rotorua Professionals McDowell Real Estate on Monday, 24 June 2019

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