Art of fundraising benefits hospice

Daughter and mother Jane and Jenny Guthrie, of Dunedin, admire Ralph Hotere's Gloria In Excelsis...
Daughter and mother Jane and Jenny Guthrie, of Dunedin, admire Ralph Hotere's Gloria In Excelsis Deo before it was auctioned at the Otago Community Hospice art auction in Dunedin last night. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Hopes were high last night that two Ralph Hotere artworks up for auction would help take the Otago Community Hospice closer to its $1.6 million funding target for the next financial year.

And they did not disappoint.

Hotere's original painting Gloria in Excelsis Deo (valued at $20,000) and a lithograph (valued at $4500) reached $17,500 and $4600 respectively at the hospice's annual art auction, held at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art.

The works were donated by Mike Bird from his private collection, and were among 10 pieces by artists including Suzanne Platt, P. Smith, Sheryl McCammon, Jan Ingram, Sue McLean and Dalene Meiring.

The sale of the works last night, contributed to the auction's grand total of more than $35,300.

All proceeds would go towards care for the terminally ill.

Hospice chief executive officer Ginny Green was delighted with the total, saying the fundraiser was more important than ever, given the increasing number of referrals to the Otago Community Hospice.

She said there were now more than 200 patients on the hospice programme - a record high.

''I've been at the hospice for seven and a-half years, and in that time we've never had more than 200 patients on the programme.

''We can only attribute this to a greater awareness in the community - among patients, families and also referrers - of the value of hospice services.''

The auction was one of several fundraisers during Hospice Awareness Week (May 12-18).

The Hospice Annual Street Day Appeal will take place today, with about 200 volunteers taking to the streets around Otago and at the Otago Farmers Market tomorrow to collect donations for the hospice.

The hospice is also running a series of Hospice Cuppas and is encouraging groups (businesses, friends and school groups) to run their own Hospice Cuppa and give the money they would have spent at a cafe to the Otago Community Hospice.



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