An art auction to raise funds for a Whanganui woman's surgery, which had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions, is back on.
Shona Beamsley, who was born completely deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, had been waiting more than three years for a cochlear implant.
Although she loves her work teaching New Zealand Sign Language in Whanganui, being deaf impedes her other occupation as a senior staffer at Broadview Lifecare rest home.
She was scheduled to have a government-funded cochlear implant surgery this year but late last year received the devastating news that she had been moved down the priority list.
The Whanganui community moved into action to support Beamsley and set out to raise the estimated $50,000 she will need to pay for the surgery.
Whanganui Hearing Association board member Alex Goodwin learned sign language from Beamsley and is her friend and supporter.
"Shona hoped by having a cochlear implant she might be able to get a promotion at work or she might be able to communicate better with the people that she works with but in saying that doesn't feel sorry for herself," Goodwin said.
It is Beamsley's attitude and her generosity in sharing New Zealand Sign Language that makes her a popular personality in Whanganui, encouraging many local artists to donate work for auction. One anonymous donor contributed $10,000 towards her surgery costs in May.
Now Kit Lawrence, a Whanganui artist who manages online business support company Serious Social is backing the fundraising efforts.
"When I heard about Shona's situation I wanted to help and the Whanganui Community Arts Centre is happy to hold the auction there," Lawrence said.
"They know Shona and they want to support her as well."
Artists who have donated work are Katie Brown, Philip Stokes, Don Hill, Craig Hooker, Hamish Horsley, Lesley Stead, Sandra Morris, Frances Sim-Higgins, John Maclean, Lyndsay Patterson, Greg Swinburne, Barbara Bullock, Gaye Downing, Gary Nash, Jim Norris, Max McGrail, Ava Dilly and Andrea Glasgow. Other artists are invited to submit contributions via the website.
Help Shona Hear - Fundraising Art Auction: Sunday, November 1, Whanganui Community Arts Centre, 19 Taupo Quay.