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Massive Dancing donation to Rainbow Youth

Tue 11 Aug 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Glbt youth and support organisation Rainbow Youth is reeling from this morning's announcement that they will receive over a quarter of a million dollars through TVNZ's Dancing with the Stars show. Dancing with the Stars winner Tamati Coffey and dance partner Samantha Hitchcock. (pic: TVNZ) The top-rating show, in which competing celebrity dancers nominated favourite charities, was won by gay TV One breakfast weatherman Tamati Coffey who had nominated Rainbow Youth as his charity. His win was decided by a panel of judges and public phone-in voting which generated the donations. Broadcasting his weather forecasts live from Rainbow Youth's Auckland office this morning, Coffey stunned the group's supporters when he announced the donation of $259,990.79. That amount, still a provisional figure, is the highest ever raised by a contestant in Dancing with the Stars, which over its five seasons has generated $1.75 million for NZ charities. "The donated amount far exceeded our expectations and our thanks must go to all our supporters who voted for Tamati and his dance partner, Samantha Hitchcock," says Rainbow Youth Executive Director Thomas Hamilton. "We were really stunned when the amount was announced." GayNZ.com understands Rainbow Youth were anticipating a much lower figure, possibly in the mid-tens of thousands. The donation will assist the organisation to continue its education work "promoting diversity in schools, supporting and advocating for youth who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity and supporting diversity groups and other queer youth organisations across the country," says Hamilton.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 11th August 2009 - 12:47pm

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