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Calling all Santas to raise money for youth mental health

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The town of Orewa in the north of Auckland is set to be lit up with festive cheer in a couple of weeks in support of Mike King's I Am Hope Charity, helping drive more awareness to tackling New Zealands alarmingly high youth suicide rate.

The Orewa Lions Club and I Am Hope have organised an afternoon of festivities, dubbed Orewa Santa Session, on Sunday December 1st with all proceeds from the event going straight toward helping I Am Hope provide free counseling for young New Zealanders.

Bars and Restaurants all along Orewa's 'main-strip' have jumped on board, each providing exclusive food and drink specials all afternoon long for keen event goers, who are encouraged to dress up in their favourite Christmas themed costumes and get in the festive spirit with their friends and other supporters.

The event is a first of its kind in the seaside town of Orewa, with a number of live bands, DJ's, and other live entertainment keeping the decked-out crowds entertained between 2pm and 7pm. Orewa Santa Session expects to see a large number of people travel from all across Auckland to get behind the event, with tickets already being sold in bundles over the last few weeks.

The overwhelming support of locals has exceeded the organisers expectations according to Project Co-Ordinator Clive Hebben saying, "I have been truly impressed by the local venues embracing the chance to raise money for I Am Hope. For them it is a leap of faith, as this event has never been held before, but from public feedback and ticket sales we are confident it is going to be a roaring success and be repeated for many years to come"

In 2018, 137 young people died by suicide in New Zealand and it is estimated that another 3500 youth tried to take their own lives. While Government agencies are doing their best to combat the issue, a significant number of kiwi youth are stuck waiting up to six months to receive the counseling they so urgently need.

I Am Hope has stepped up over the past few years to help tackle the issue by connecting youth with mental health counselors and practitioners in their region or online, so they can get timely support, without the added stress of how to pay the bill.

I Am Hope Ambassador Mitch Boocock says, "There is little more heartwarming than being approached by a group like Lions Club Orewa and by their members who aren't just wanting to show support, but who are willing to go to the lengths of organising a huge event with all proceeds to go towards free counseling for our youth in need of help. I am extremely humbled and grateful and I am really looking forward to seeing the town full of smiling people who are supporting positive mental health and proud that their donation is making such a difference to I AM HOPE"

Tickets for the Orewa Santa Session are being sold online at EVENTBRITE as well as through the Orewa Lions Club's Facebook Event, with limited tickets selling fast.

LINK TO BUY A TICKET (EVENTBRITE)

https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/orewa-santa-session-18-event-tickets-78140220503

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