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Business Support Called For Regarding Hospital

16 November 2004

Skycity And Starship Hospital Call On Business And Community Support For Atrium Redevelopment

The planned transformation of the Starship Children’s Health Atrium, from a tired well-used space into a ‘New Zealand Rain Forest’, is bound to bring a smile to the faces of young patients facing a stay in hospital.

The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust has granted $100,000 towards the renovation project, which is set to commence once the remaining $50,000 of required funding is raised.

Starship Foundation CEO Andrew Young says that the Starship Atrium forms the ‘heart’ of the hospital and its refurbishment is much needed.

“The Atrium and play area are a major design feature of the hospital. The wards are built around this core and the play area is visible from both the lifts and from every floor within Starship.

“The central area is dedicated to recreation and play and provides a space where children and their families can enjoy time together, away from the wards and difficulties associated with being ill and in hospital. The Rain Forest refurbishment will create a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their families who are often dealing with stressful and traumatic circumstances.

“Since its last renovation in 1999, by the “April’s Angels’ TV show, heavy use has left the area tired and worn looking. We are thrilled with the new Rain Forest design, which will provide a relaxing and healing space to enjoy time out, have fun and play during hospital visits,” said Mr Young.

Jasmax, the architectural firm involved in the development of the new Auckland City Hospital, was contracted to develop a design to spruce up the area and its New Zealand Rain Forest theme was unanimously agreed upon by all parties involved.

Key features of the Rain Forest include recycled timber, telephone poles in lieu of trees, nature trails, clouds and canopies, log benches, audio visual equipment and specially printed flooring.

While the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust grant meets the basic requirements of the redevelopment, approximately $50,000 and a range of in-kind contributions, is still required to complete and enhance the new theme.

To assist in raising the additional funds needed, SKYCITY Auckland is hosting a fundraising event on Thursday 18 November at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre. Attended by Starship Foundation supporters and relevant business industry leaders, the event will include a charity auction with a range of nature-themed items on offer. Companies will also be given the chance to donate $1000 for a Nature Trail Stepping Stone, forty of which will line the Rain Forest floor.

The event MC will be television personality Mary Lambie, mother of recently-born twins and supporter of Starship.

Andrew Young says that the Starship Foundation is very grateful to the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust for making such a major contribution to the cost of the Rain Forest refurshishment.

“We are also are thankful that SKYCITY, which has had a long association with Starship, is hosting the fundraising event for the project and enabling us to hopefully raise the extra funds needed,” said Mr Young.

SKYCITY has had a relationship with Starship’s Children’s Health since 1997, and is a “Five Star Sponsor” of the Starship Foundation. Highlights of the relationship have included fundraising to create Puawaitahi, a “Multi-Agency Centre’ for abused children and young people. Since Puawaitahi’s opening in November 2002, SKYCITY has assisted with additional fundraising to provide the centre with education materials, clothing, transport, toys and food vouchers.

Chairman of the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust Jock Irvine says that the Trust is very pleased to have made a significant contribution to the atrium redevelopment. The grant was from the Trust’s ninth year of funding, where more than three million dollars was distributed in its largest funding round to date.

“We are proud to be involved with this very worthwhile community initiative, which will help make coping with often very traumatic circumstances that much easier for young patients and their families.

“The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust is a great vehicle through which SKYCITY Auckland contributes to the community and to date the Trust has distributed in excess of $15 million in grants to more than 600 Community Groups, large and small,” said Mr Irvine.

The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust was established in 1996, as part of the SKYCITY Ltd casino licence application process, to provide funds for community and charitable purposes.

TO MAKE DONATIONS TO STARSHIP CHILDREN’S HEALTH ATRIUM REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT VISIT WWW.STARSHIP.ORG.NZ OR POST TO P.O BOX 9389 NEWMARKET, AUCKLAND. GIFT-IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS FOR KEY RAIN FOREST ELEMENTS ARE ALSO REQUIRED SUCH AS ELECTRICAL SERVICES, PHOTO IMAGES AND INTERACTIVE DISPLAYS, FLOOR TILE AND INSTALLATION SERVICES. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT CHANTAL BEKKER ON 09-307-4949 EXT 5390 OR CHANTAL@STARSHIP.NZL.COM.

ENDS

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