Peripatetic Kelly Bennett takes the plunge

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Two Auckland Blues coaches, two Kiwi Ferns and over 20 business leaders – including One Plus One’s Kelly Bennett – have signed up to jump 192 metres from the top of the Sky Tower at 85km/hour tomorrow as part of the Drop Your Boss campaign to support the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

Through the experience of being ‘dropped’ from the tallest building in Auckland, Drop Your Boss aims to provide the chance to understand and live the challenges many young people face on a daily basis.

Among those dropping are Blues coaches Alistair Rogers & Steve Jackson, and Kiwi Fern stars Georgia Hale & Madison Bartlett.

It’s not just bosses and athletes who will be jumping. For the likes of everyday Kiwis such as Michelle Stewart and Melissa Atama, the opportunity to inspire and empower kids through the support of the Graeme Dingle Foundation, is one they could not pass up.

South Auckland’s Michelle Stewart is a mum of three who suffers from chronic pain and also has a fear of heights. She is jumping to show her kids that, despite her own personal troubles, she can rise to any challenge, therefore, encouraging her kids to do the same.

Similarly, Melissa Atama, the deputy chair of Weymouth Primary in Manukau, has registered to jump to tackle the issue of school bullying and encourage kids to step out of their comfort zones.

“Sir Grame Dingle, at 71, is jumping for the third time.”

Some of the leaders who are set to face their fears for the foundation include Fletcher Building Products ceo Matt Crockett, Kerridge partner Vikki Maclean, Neilsen MD Rob Clark, and Sir Graeme Dingle himself (at 71, jumping for the third time).

Foundation ceo Jenny Stiles says she’s delighted with the calibre of volunteers and leaders stepping out of their comfort zone to support and encourage young Kiwis.

“We help change the lives of Kiwi kids by building up their confidence and skills through physical and mental challenges; enabling them to develop core life skills and a sense of direction and to build resilience,” she said.

Foundation co-founder Graeme Dingle says this event is exactly what his organisation works to achieve on a daily basis.

“A key part in the success of the organisation’s programmes is challenging young people to change their perceptions of what they think they can achieve – which makes this unique and novel fundraising event such a great fit. Investing in our country’s youth is the best investment New Zealand can make,” he says.

All funds raised go towards the transformation of young Kiwi lives by supporting the Graeme Dingle Foundation. The Infometrics Report says every $1 invested in Graeme Dingle Foundation programmes results in an average long-term benefit to New Zealand of an estimated $7.15.

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