MS Society fundraiser
It’s positively a bargain in these thrifty times – a Saturday night’s worth of good food, wine, fine frocks and jazzy tunes for $50.
Even better, an upcoming glitzy ball is raising funds for a good cause – Wellington’s Multiple Sclerosis Society.
A regular night out on the town would cost twice as much for half the glamour, says the society’s vicepresident, 29-year-old Camborne man Andy Woodside.
‘‘You’d be spending about a hundred bucks without realising it, so this is pretty good.’’
This year’s ball is a big step up from a similar event held two years ago in a school hall in Ngaio, Mr Woodside says.
The venue is Wellington’s upmarket James Cook Hotel, and attendees will be serenaded by jazz trio Blackbird.
More than 200 people are hoped to attend dressed up to the nines, but Mr Woodside expects most tickets will sell at the last minute.
‘‘I think it’s a New Zealand trait, people say ‘ oh yeah, we’ll buy them’ and they don’t actually buy them ‘ til the last week.’’
Funds raised will go towards hiring a third field worker to support MS sufferers on the Kapiti Coast.
Currently just two field workers serve over 400 MS Society members in Wellington, Porirua, the Hutt Valley, Kapiti and the Wairarapa.
The officers hold regular meetings where sufferers of the degenerative neurological disease can meet other MS Society members and discuss what treatments work and don’t work for them.
The ball will be a particularly important source of funds this year because the society’s annual fundraising day in March was called off, as it coincided with a national day of mourning for the Christchurch earthquake.
An alternative collection date in September is looking uncertain too, as the society’s four-leaf clover might be associated with Ireland’s rugby team during the World Cup.
A former Tawa College student, Mr Woodside has been a society committee member for six years, since he was diagnosed with MS while working in IT in London.
At first symptoms were just headaches, but he soon found co-ordination difficult while playing sport.
‘‘Everyone thought ‘ oh man he’s unco!’’’ he says, laughing.
His condition deteriorated for six months, after which he decided to return to his family in New Zealand.
Apart from funds, MS Society is looking for understanding and respect from the community, Mr Woodside says.
‘‘Just more tolerance of MS in the community and how it affects people differently.’’
Wellington Multiple Sclerosis Ball, 7.30pm July 23, James Cook Hotel. Tickets $50 from mswellington. org.nz/ball or 04 475 3833.
Charity bash: Wellington Multiple Scleroris Ball organiser Andy Woodside hopes funds will help to hire a field worker dedicated to Kapiti’s 100 MS sufferers.