Networking for a cause

Last updated 11:00 20/11/2012
Andrea O'Neil

DAD POWER: Tawa fathers Colin Ellis and Rory Purcell-Hewitt are inviting Wellington dads to get together this Friday night to socialise, network and raise money for charity

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Dads - are you tired of watching your wives return home from mums' social events, laden with goodie bags and with a dozen new numbers in their phones?

A pair of Tawa dads decided it was time to get in on the action, and have organised a "Dads' Big Night Out" in Wellington this Friday.

Rory Purcell-Hewitt and Colin Ellis, both dads of two, say all too often fathers lack a good social network.

"All this stuff seems to exist for the mums. They seem to be really, really good at it, but dads never seem to do it," Mr Ellis says.

"We wanted to create a bit of a network but also just get dads out and about."

The Dads' Big Night Out will feature beer tastings, coffee education and plenty of spot prizes, including a Vodafone cellphone, a Phoenix football family pass, and pizza and bar vouchers.

All proceeds from the $15 tickets will go to children's charity Kids Can, and sponsors were more than happy to help out, Mr Ellis says.

"They said 'what a great idea, nobody's ever done anything like this before'."

The charity aspect to the event was inspired by a call for donations towards children's lunches on TV's Campbell Live, Mr Ellis says.

"We thought, let's get dads together but let's get a cause in on it.

"Let's not just get a load of beers, let's do something worthwhile."

At the moment the Dads' Big Night Out is planned as a one-off, but attendees can keep in touch through another of the pair's initiatives, a "Welly Dads" Facebook group, Mr Purcell- Hewitt says.

Birthday parties are not most men's natural habitat, whereas men can relax with a pint in front of them, he says.

"It's a night of things that appeal to dads: coffee and beer."

Dads' Big Night Out, Friday, November 23, 7pm, Flight Coffee Hangar, corner of Willis and Dixon Sts. Proceeds from $15 tickets go to Kids Can. Register at

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