Lepionka drives $20k donation for Starship

The Starship Foundation has won a $20,000 donation thanks to the driving skills of entrepreneur Stefan Lepionka.

The Starship Foundation has scored a $20,000 donation, thanks to the driving skills of entrepreneur Stefan Lepionka.

The Charlie’s co-founder won Audi New Zealand’s first annual charity challenge that saw entrepreneurs take on “the establishment” in a range of driving tasks at Hampton Downs.

Audi New Zealand brought together five Kiwi entrepreneurs to compete against keen Kiwi executives to win the cash prize for their charity of choice.

“It was great taking on the establishment again this time on the race track and even better to have been given an opportunity to have fun racing Audi cars and winning $20,000 for Starship, an incredibly worthy cause,” says Mr Lepionka, who founded beverage company Charlie’s with Marc Ellis and Simon Neal in 1999.

In 2011, Charlie’s was acquired by Asahi Group for $129 million and is now part of the Japanese company’s Schweppes Australia unit.

The Establishment team consisted of Chris Quin, CEO of Telecom Retail; Carden Mulholland, CFO of CBL Insurance; Sam Stanley, Head of Exchange products for NZX and David Green, MD Institutional of ANZ.

The Entrepreneur team included Mr Lepionka as well as Geoff Ross, who hosted the event, Kat Gee of Kagi Jewellery, Sarah Gibbs of Trilogy, and former Black Cap Dion Nash of Triumph and Disaster.

Audi New Zealand general manager Dean Sheed thanked the competitors for taking an afternoon out of their busy schedules to raise money for charity.

“We look forward to holding this event every year and we are very pleased to be giving $20,000 to the Starship Foundation on Stefan’s behalf – it is such a worthy charity.”