Fashion show aids orphans

JAMES GREENLAND
Last updated 13:00 06/05/2013
Kiwi Kenya Project Charity Fashion Show
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
SHOW OF SUPPORT: Ceara McAuliffe Bickerton, left, and Emily Reeves at the Kiwi Kenya Project Charity Fashion Show at the Boathouse.

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Nelson models strutted their stuff on Nelson's Boathouse catwalk and raised close to $3500 for a Kenyan orphanage.

Ceara McAuliffe Bickerton, the Nelson student, model and international fundraiser who hosted the Kiwi Kenya Project Fashion Show on Saturday night, said the money would go toward buying a new building for the 30-40 children at Sons of Mannaseh Orphanage in Kenya, where she volunteered for five weeks last year.

"The atmosphere was buzzing and the energy was high," she said of the sold-out fashion fundraiser, which was opened by the Mosaic World Music Choir.

Ms McAuliffe Bickerton helped out from behind the scenes for most of the evening, but she took to the catwalk too, a warmup for her next professional modelling job, in Queenstown this week.

She said the "styles and colours of this season's outfits proved popular" with the audience who spontaneously applauded, while the models, some of whom were on their catwalk debut, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Ms McAuliffe Bickerton has been involved with various fundraisers this year, including Purple Cake Day.

Her work with children at Enner Glynn School even inspired one local man, Tony Gibbons, to match the students' donation and gift a second goat to the Sons of Mannaseh orphans after he had read about the Kiwi Kenya project in a Nelson Mail article.

Ms McAuliffe Bickerton said she had been inspired to visit Kenya last year after watching the movie The Constant Gardener. Having spent time getting to know the children there she felt compelled to continue helping them, however she could, from wherever she could.

As for using the catwalk as a money-maker: "I love fashion," she said.

She said she was extremely thankful to her local sponsors, without whom the event could not have happened. "I feel really supported by the Nelson community, especially local businesses: Trouble & Fox, Profile, Kilt, Kitts Shoes and Unichem Nelson City Pharmacy," she said.

The Kiwi Kenya Project website was launched last month. To follow the charity's progress, visit cearabickerton.wix.com/thekiwikenyaproject.

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- The Nelson Mail

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