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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Body Positive gets big Dawsons cheque

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 5th April 2009

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Hero to be wound up and remembered

An oversized cheque for $3,000 was presented to New Zealand's HIV+ peer support group Body Positive on the manicured grand lawn of the Kelliher Estate yesterday.

Big thanks: Grahame Dawson, Alex Ross & Bruce Kilmister

Dawsons, an events and cuisine company well known for supporting the LGBT community, raised the funds by running a cafe on site during the Heroic Gardens tour of their established estate on Puketutu Island in the Manukau Harbour, run as Auckland's most exclusive events centre.

Grahame Dawson and Alex Ross decided to help Body Positive after reading of the organisation's 2009 funding difficulties.

"We wanted to get back to some grass roots support to help those with HIV, so along with fantastic volunteers from the Auckland Gay Bowling Organisation and Body Positive, we ran a cafe with seating that flowed through to a sunny garden and a shaded fale. People loved it," says Dawson.

The extensive grounds around the magnificent Italianate mansion also allowed Body Positive to spread out and collect nearly $1,000 in bucket donations throughout the day.

Body Positive CEO Bruce Kilmister appreciates the effort Dawsons made to ensure people were relaxed and welcome. "It made our collection so successful, but that was only the icing on the cake compared to how much they raised in the café," he tells

"Body Positive has faced funding cuts that have unfortunately limited our services this year, so it's reassuring when individuals and companies look after their own in times of need. I give my heartfelt thanks to Dawsons and the volunteers."

Dawsons also hosted thank-you drinks at the end of the day for over a dozen volunteers. A highlight of the drinks was hearing Alex Ross' 1959 Chevrolet Impala roar into action andrumble on to the grand lawn, signifying a big end to a big day.