New Zealand Fashion Week is an iconic event on Kiwi calendars, and an important fixture of YMCA Auckland’s Youth Development programme, Raise Up. Simply put, Walk The Line is an innovative platform where young designers nationwide are able to put their creations on a world stage. Echoing the ethos of Raise Up, Walk The Line is run completely by youth for youth and is both an incredible creative opportunity for young fashionistas, as well as a launchpad for those passionate about the industry.

Walk The Line is only possible with the help of generous support from the community.

One such funder was BNZ Partners, who provided a generous monetary donation, which went directly towards the running of the event. BNZ has always had a close relationship with YMCA Auckland, dating back more than 100 years in the community. “It’s believed that YMCA Auckland were one of our first clients,” says Tara Lennon, Commercial Partner at BNZ.

Having donated to various other YMCA projects over the years, this was the first year that BNZ were involved with Walk The Line specifically. “We’re also very involved in the youth community in Auckland, so the youth-centred focus of Walk The Line really resonated with us, as being a good initiative to get behind,” adds Tara.

Canon were another sponsor of the event, as a result of their long-standing relationship with YMCA Auckland. YMCA Auckland and Canon have synergy in terms of a rich history of strong values, a caring culture and a genuine wish to make a real difference to people’s lives. Both organisations seek to empower people and by working together, are able to achieve real results for families across New Zealand.

Canon is driven by guiding philosophy Kyosei – which means ‘living and working together for the common good’. Canon show

their support to community initiatives through the donation of products, volunteer support, promotional support and financial support. In terms of Walk The Line, Canon provided a camera package for the overall winning prize at the event. “For Canon, this relationship has been an easy process, due to the people and values of the YMCA. We look forward to continuing and growing our partnership in the years to come,” says Linda Gordon, Canon Account Manager.

From further afield, Walk The Line received a generous donation from Ruapehu Country Lodge – luxury bed and breakfast accommodation on the Central Plateau, owned by Heather Ellis and Peter Spittle. Heather has a relationship spanning 14 years with YMCA and was the former Centre Manager at YMCA Auckland City, until relocating earlier this year. “I have a strong connection to YMCA and want to stay connected, so this was something that we could do to help.”

Heather and Peter kindly donated room stays at the Lodge, which were used as prizes for Walk The Line. “We are only small and starting out here, but we were excited to provide people with an experience that they might not have a chance to have otherwise. That sort of thing can make a positive difference to people’s lives,” adds Heather.

“Walk The Line truly was a team effort,” says Niamh Wingate, Fundraiser at YMCA Auckland. “We were privileged to have such great donors involved, from BNZ and Revlon to Canon and Ruapehu Country Lodge . Revlon generously gave us over $6000 of prizes for all of the category winners and an overall prize. They, as with all of our supporters, were wonderful to deal with and we look forward to their support for Walk The Line 2015.”

Walk The Line 2014 received a generous grant from Auckland Council’s Regional Events Fund and the event has already been awarded further funding for 2015, which is set to be an even more amazing experience