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Pageant proceeds handed over to charities

Wed 1 Dec 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News

The QWU crew and the recipients of their money-raising The entire cast and crew of the Queen of the Whole Universe were present to celebrate their hard work as creative director Jonathan Smith handed over the financial fruits of their labour to three charities. The Auckland show last month, where Miss France stormed to victory, raised a total of $35,000. Body Positive, Positive Women and the NZAF's Positive Health were each given $7,700 last night, during rehearsals for QWU's Wellington show. The remaining $11,900 the queer beauty pageant raised will be used as seeding money for the Wellington QWU tour in March 2011. Body Positive chair Bruce Kilmister also expressed great thanks and says all of the money will go to medical expenses for people living with HIV, who are on limited income. "In particular that horrific medical issue called lipodystrophy, which wastes all the fat in the face and gives people a very gaunt, hollow look. And that's a direct result of antiretroviral HIV medication. So we are able to repair it." Kilimister says treatment for lip dystrophy is funded in the UK, Canada and Australia, but not in New Zealand. He says there are 250 people in this country living with advanced HIV who face the issue. "And of course it just robs people of self-esteem, it robs them of the ability to participate in everyday life." Body Positive runs a clinic every few months where it fills the faces of those with the condition "and they look about 20 years younger", Kilmister said. "So this money will help very much to help those people, so thank you very much." NZAF Director of Positive Health Eamonn Smyth thanked the crew as he and NZAF Trust Board member Cherry Sonderer accepted the NZAF's cheque, while Positive Women's Jane Bruning accepted her organisation's cheque, to plenty of proud applause from the QWU team. There are two further dates planned for QWU: Opera House, Wellington, Saturday 12 March 2011 @ 8.30pm Tickets now on sale through Ticketek www.ticketek.co.nz0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) TelstraClear Event Centre, Manukau, Saturday 22 October 2011@ 8pm Tickets on sale early 2011    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 1st December 2010 - 1:33pm

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