Broadcasting his weather forecasts live from Rainbow Youth's Auckland office this morning, Coffey stunned the group's supporters when he announced the donation of $259,990.79. That amount, still a provisional figure, is the highest ever raised by a contestant in Dancing with the Stars, which over its five seasons has generated $1.75 million for NZ charities.
"The donated amount far exceeded our expectations and our thanks must go to all our supporters who voted for Tamati and his dance partner, Samantha Hitchcock," says Rainbow Youth Executive Director Thomas Hamilton. "We were really stunned when the amount was announced." GayNZ.com understands Rainbow Youth were anticipating a much lower figure, possibly in the mid-tens of thousands.
The donation will assist the organisation to continue its education work "promoting diversity in schools, supporting and advocating for youth who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity and supporting diversity groups and other queer youth organisations across the country," says Hamilton.