50 giant penguin sculptures were auctioned off on Wednesday 14th February 2021 to raise funds for Cholmondeley Children’s Centre in New Zealand. The Pop Up Penguins event in Christchurch was loved and enjoyed by thousands of locals throughout their summer before being auctioned off to raise vital and life changing funds for partner charity Cholmondeley Children’s Centre. The auction total was NZ $1million (roughly £530,000). Penguins Shy-no-more and Mischievous went for $36,000 each, the highest prices of the night.
The total from the penguins was more than double the amount that was raised in the Christchurch Stands Tall event back in 2014.
Claire Cowles, a member of Wild in Art New Zealand who helped create the event and make it a success, said:
“There was a lot of anomalies where I thought ‘they won’t go for much’, and then they went for loads more than I expected”
One penguin design that was sure to be popular was Steampunk created by Laura Hewetson, who used what she had learnt whilst working at Weta Workshop on the film series The Hobbit. It was sold to a local fan for $20,000, outbidding the Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher.
Tanya Cooke, Cholmondeley Children’s Centre fundraising and marketing manager, said the money raised would help families in need. Around 500 children go to Cholmondeley every year for respite and care and the charity relies on generosity of the public to keep running.
“These families are facing critical issues like mental health, poverty, family violence, or a cancer diagnosis”
“Our families that we support are struggling more than ever and need your support more than ever.”