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07 January 2016

Epilepsy Society thinks of Australia amid Purple Day struggle

Epilepsy Society is thinking of those with epilepsy in Australia as news hits of a fundraising crisis ahead of Purple Day in March.

Epilepsy Action Australia is battling with a $200,000 Australian dollar black hole after its exclusive sponsor,  electronics retailer Dick Smith, went into receivership on 4 January.


Dick Smith signed off on a major sponsorship deal for Purple Day, Epilepsy Action Australia's biggest annual fund raising event, less than three weeks before the administrators were called in.

The charity's chief executive Carol Ireland said Dick Smith signed the deal on 17 December and gave Epilepsy Action Australia assurances it could proceed with printing all the material for its Purple Day fund raising activities, which are scheduled to roll out from next week to Purple Day on 26 March.

Trouble at the 11th hour

Ms Ireland said: "We are in trouble, we have no raffle prizes, the wrong materials and no distribution partner."

Dick Smith had agreed to provide $50,000 Australian dollar cash sponsorship as well as three $1000 Australian dollar gift vouchers as raffle prizes and the stores were carrying the full range of Purple Day merchandise, which Epilepsy Action Australia expected to raise as much as $50,000 Australian dollars from.

Plea for help

Ms Ireland has issued a plea for help to salvage Purple Day:

"Ideally, what we are looking for is a national retailer with a heart of gold that can hopefully step in to save the day but we would be grateful for any donation, big or small, to lessen the blow – it all makes a difference.

“On behalf of the 800,000 Australians that will experience the unpredictable and often debilitating effect of epilepsy at some point in their lives, we would be eternally grateful to anyone that can assist us."

Epilepsy Society's Community Fundraising Manager, Katrina Jones said: " We are really sorry to hear of the challenging circumstances Epilepsy Action Australia are facing.  Purple Day is a fantastic opportunity to raise funds and awareness of epilepsy, and we wish them all the best in finding a new sponsor in time."

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