Ruby’s tea towel raises over $250,000 for Starship

More than quarter of a million dollars has now been raised for the national children’s hospital, Starship, thanks to a savvy young cancer survivor and her annual stylish tea towel designs.


16 year old Starship patient and cancer survivor Ruby Seeto handed over a cheque for $66,438 to the Starship Foundation today. This marks the fourth year of the highly successful tea towel collaboration between Ruby and home wares retailer Wallace Cotton.

The partnership has been impressive.


In 2009 Ruby and Wallace Cotton teamed up to produce their first collaboration; the Cupcake tea towel and 5,000 tea towels were sold raising $30,000 for Starship.


In 2010, 12,000 Gingerbread Friends tea towels were sold raising $72,000 and in 2011 the Hokey Pokey Ice Cream design was added to the range offering three designs and together with the Gingerbread Friends and the Cupcake design sold 14,846 raising $89,076.


In 2012 the Tree of Life tea towel and an apron were added to the mix and 10,773 tea towels were sold raising $66,438, with the tea towels sold around the country through Wallace Cotton stores and online.


The funds raised from the Tree of Life tea towel will be used to purchase the first neonatal simulation doll for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  The doll is designed to respond like a real newborn baby, and will provide vital training opportunities for staff.


Wallace Cotton Director Paula Wallace says: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Ruby, which in total has raised more than $250,000 for Starship and enabled the national children’s hospital to purchase much-needed equipment for New Zealand’s children and their families. Together we are currently developing her latest tea towel design which will be released later this year.”


Ruby had major surgery in October 2006 to remove a tumour from her liver; she was subsequently diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer and went through 12 months of intensive chemotherapy treatment at Starship.


“My 2013 design includes a yummy recipe again and it’s nice and bright to liven up your kitchen for summer,” says Ruby of the soon-to-be-released new tea towel.


2013 will see Ruby’s new design available from September both online at  and from Wallace Cotton retail stores around the country.


To register your interest in Ruby’s 2013 tea towel and be notified when they go on sale in September please register your details at

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