Looking out for the community

00:04, Nov 28 2011
Giving Cheques
HANDOVER: Marguerite Durling of Diabetes Auckland, Penny Jorgensen, Rebecca Oliver and 20 month-old Dylan of Allergy New Zealand, John Denton of Diabetes Auckland, Suburban Newspapers general manager David Penny, Naomi Layzell and Gwenda Holster-Dowler, Plunket.

Three cheques, three charities - and lot's of smiles all round.

The Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust has just handed out over $25,000 in its latest round of charitable funding.

The beneficiaries are Diabetes Auckland ($5000), Allergy New Zealand ($5000) and Plunket ($15,470).

The trust was set up in 1998 and is chaired by Suburban Newspapers general manager David Penny.

"We've given away half a million dollars in the past year alone to groups like this that serve the same community our papers engage with right across the greater region." Mr Penny says.

"Much of this money is raised by our readers so it's important for them to know that every cent gets poured back into worthy causes that benefit all of us."

Mr Penny says the latest recipients are truly deserving of additional help.

"This isn't ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff," he says. "All three of these organisations are working proactively on preventative strategies to make sure people stay well. They are reliant on volunteer help and public goodwill so anything we can do to support them is worthwhile."

The trust's latest campaign is Project Surf.

Readers of this newspaper are being asked to give their support to the fundraiser which is now in its third week.

Proceeds will go towards vital rescue equipment for surf lifesaving clubs at Piha, Bethells, Omaha, Kariaotahi, Sunset Beach, Mairangi Bay, Red Beach, Orewa, Muriwai and Karekare.

Cheques made out to the Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust can be posted to Project Surf, Private Bag 92815, Penrose, Auckland 1642.

Donations can also be banked directly into the trust's Westpac account 03-0243-0268896-000.

Where it all began

The trust's first major project battled glue ear, the conditions that muffles hearing and leaves children unable to hear their teachers, learn to speak or interact easily with others.

Mad Butcher
CHAMPION: The Mad Butcher, Sir Peter Leitch, KNZM, QSM, is an ambassador for the Mad Butcher Suburban Newspapers Community Trust.

It worked with South Auckland Health to set up two clinics providing surgery for all 120 kids on the waiting list at that time. All can now hear.

The trust has gone on to support Kidz First children's hospital in Manukau, the Starship Children's Hospital, Camp Quality for children fighting cancer and Canteen for teenagers doing the same thing.

It has also donated to the Cancer Foundation and Look Good Feel Better, both groups working with women with cancer; held lunches for Fight For Life - generating around $180,000 for youth suicide campaigns and the Meningitis Trust.


Trust pic
TEAM EFFORT: Pictured with the new operating microscope at Middlemore Hospital, left to right, are Counties Manukau DHB chief medical officer Dr Don Mackie, Dr Alissandra Canal, Counties Manukau DHB Chief Executive Officer Geraint Martin, Dr Meredith Simcock, Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust chairman David Penny, Mr Richard Wong She, trust ambassador Sir Peter Leitch.

Money has gone to Plunket, funds to teach breast self-examination, computers for Auckland schools, literacy days and drug education .

More than $100,000 has gone into work around prostate cancer and the Parkinson's Society has also been helped, as have a number of individuals from the special Helping Hand fund for urgent medical treatment.

There is also the huge free Family Fun Day held at the Ellerslie race course each year.

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The trust's Operation Heal fundraiser was a great success.

One of the trust's biggest campaigns, Operation Heal, raised $230,000 for the purchase of a high tech operating microscope at the National Bun Unit in 2010.

Trustees are Chairman David Penny (general manager of Fairfax Media Suburban Newspapers Auckland); Mad Butcher Sir Peter Charles Leitch KNZM, QSM;  David Jones ( secretary); Yow-Fei Shen (treasurer); David Kemeys (Editor, Sunday Star Times); Julie Leitch; Matthew Gray (Suburban Newspapers, Head of Content).