Robin Williams' quake donation
Actor and comedian Robin Williams will mix comic relief with earthquake relief at his Christchurch show.
Williams said yesterday all the proceeds from his standup comedy performance at the CBS Canterbury Arena on Friday would be donated to quake rebuilding projects.
The money would be shared between the Red Cross-administered Canterbury earthquake fund, and Christchurch City Council's mayoral building fund.
"It is devastating what has happened in Christchurch, but from what I have learnt, the people there are incredibly resilient," Williams said in a statement.
"The first quake of [magnitude] 7.1 would have been traumatic enough, but I understand that since then, the people of Christchurch have experienced close to 3000 aftershocks."
The quake and aftershocks were an "unimaginable trauma", he said.
"I hope this donation will go some way to helping the extensive rebuilding effort in the city."
Red Cross national marketing manager Paul Scoringe said Williams' donation was "wonderful news".
The earthquake fund had reached about $19.4 million. About $4.4m had been paid out. Applications totalling $2.5m were being processed. Remaining funds would be spent on supporting those forced to relocate, he said.
Donations had peaked, aside from the Williams show, Band Together CD sales, and corporate grants, Scoringe said.
"We've been wanting to communicate thank-you messages to New Zealand on behalf of Canterbury, and to Canterbury for the generosity that's come through."
A group for Kiwis working in London yesterday donated $15,000 towards the earthquake fund. New Zealand-UK Society president Michelle Marsh said the money was raised in London from public donations, the NZ Society Charity Fund, the NZ Business Women's Network, and the society's quiz night and Kiwi Oktoberfest events.