StarJam reaps re­wards of gro­cery ball

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

A char­ity help­ing young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties re­alise their dreams will ben­e­fit from this year’s su­per­mar­ket in­dus­try ball.

StarJam has been se­lected from 65 char­i­ties to re­ceive the pro­ceeds from the an­nual Gro­cery Char­ity Ball.

“We’re re­ally hon­oured to be se­lected out of so many or­gan­i­sa­tions,” says StarJam founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive Julie Bartlett.

“It says a lot about the im­pact of the work we are do­ing and the high re­gard in which it’s held.”

StarJam or­gan­ises per­form­ing work­shops and hosts monthly gath­er­ings with celebri­ties to coach and men­tor young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

Young per­form­ers, who are known as jam­mers, sang at the Hal­berg Awards ear­lier this month. The group is the sev­enth ben­e­fi­ciary of the ball, which has so far raised more than $1.2 mil­lion for six char­i­ties.

Mrs Bartlett hopes the ball will raise enough money to run pro­grammes in Welling­ton and Christchurch as well as Auck­land.

“We started in 2002 with 12 kids and now there’s about 450 peo­ple in­volved so our suc­cess has been rather rapid and the de­mand for the chil­dren to be in­volved just keeps on in­creas­ing,” she says.

Jam­mer Daniel Gourlay has been in­volved with StarJam since it started and can’t wait for the ball in Au­gust.

“It is lovely to be with StarJam,” he says.

“I’ve been to heaps of shows and I’ve hosted two shows with Kate Hawkesby.”

ro­cery Char­ity Ball trus­tee Karen Clark says pick­ing just one char­ity was tough, but they were im­pressed by StarJam’s work.

“They are do­ing some amaz­ing stuff,” says Ms Clark.

“It’s an ex­tremely diffi de­ci­sion but we’re looking for some­thing specifi

The ball is sup­ported by gro­cery giants Food­stuffs, which owns Pak’nSave and New World, and Pro­gres­sive En­ter­prises, which owns Food­town, Count­down and Wool­worths, as well as the New Zealand Food and Gro­cery Coun­cil.

It’s held at SkyC­ity on Au­gust 28, with money raised through ta­ble sales, auc­tions and do­na­tions.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Good stuff: From left: Gro­cery Char­ity Ball trus­tee Karen Clark, StarJam’s Julie Bartlett and Daniel Gourlay, and trus­tee Leanne Car­roll.

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