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24-hour collection for OUTLine kicks off

Fri 2 Oct 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

9.45PM: The majority of gay venues throughout the country are gearing up this evening to start their 24hr collection to help boost the coffers of financially ailing OUTLine. Official OUTLine October fundraising buckets and boxes to be seen around NZ The participating venues grouped together when they heard that OUTLine, which provides the national free phone counseling and support service for troubled glbt people, had hit the financial skids due to the recession affecting donor trusts. For approximately 24 hours, based on this weekend's Saturday trading, venues such as bars, nightclubs, cafes, cruise clubs and saunas will be encouraging patrons to donate a few gold coins to the appeal. Entertainers and volunteers will be wielding buckets at the bars and nightclubs, while collection boxes have been placed at other venues. "OUTLine is an important service that simply must not be allowed to falter," says Auckland's Centurian sauna owner Liam Slater who reports his staff have already begun the collection. A few blocks away, Lateshift owner Jay Bennie says his staff will start encouraging customers to part with their change from midnight tonight through to 10am Sunday "because Sunday morning is still Saturday night gay time isn't it?" OUTLine's volunteers field in excess of 4,000 calls a year. Formerly called Gayline/Lesbianline, it has seen its bank account dwindle over recent months to the point where the position of General Manager was not being renewed when GM Lesley Belcham's contract expired today. It has also had to prepare to retrench services. A list of participating collection venues is here, along with further information about OUTLINE October, a month-long initiative by glbt community leaders, orgainsations and businesses to support OUTLine through its period of financial crisis.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 2nd October 2009 - 10:36pm

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