NZ$200,000 RAISED FOR CHRISTCHURCH AT EMBASSY GALA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A gala dinner at the New Zealand Embassy last night raised NZ$200,000 for Christchurch earthquake relief efforts.
Phil Keoghan, Host of The Amazing Race and MC for the evening, charmed the crowd and got people to dig deep into their pockets, even if it meant having to throw in a free dinner with himself in Los Angeles.
Keoghan, who was born near Christchurch, said it was important for people to know that Christchurch was "open for business", and he thanked Americans for their continued support in helping to rebuild Christchurch.
On February 22, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Christchurch, New Zealand's second largest city, causing widespread damage and significant loss of life.
New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, Rt. Hon. Mike Moore, said he was touched by the solidarity and generosity shown.
"This is not a small thing you are doing for us," said the Ambassador to the largely American audience.
"We're all in this together."
Guest speaker Admiral Thad Allen, who was in Christchurch when the earthquake struck, touched audiences when he spoke of his own experience.
He commented on the resilience of people in New Zealand and said the country's ability to recover from such an event and come together was admirable.
"The incredible way you have integrated your community and the way you celebrate diversity creates what I call 'resiliency'," he said.
The Admiral was one of over 50 senior American officials in Christchurch on the day of the earthquake to attend the US-NZ Partnership Forum, a conference between US and New Zealand leaders aimed at promoting closer bilateral ties.
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