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Telethon is back! KidsCan launches 'Big Night In'

Telethon is back! KidsCan launches ‘Big Night In’ to benefit Kiwi kids living in poverty

It’s been 15 years since New Zealand’s iconic telethon appeared on our TV screens having raised millions of dollars for good causes in its 18 year run. Now KidsCan is launching ‘Big Night In’ in partnership with TV3 to benefit Kiwi kids living in poverty.

The idea behind Big Night In is to net at least two million dollars for KidsCan enabling it to make a tangible difference in the lives of 42,000 disadvantaged children across New Zealand.

Founder and General Manager, Julie Helson says “KidsCan receives no public funding. It takes 1.5 million dollars each year to meet the current needs of the 24,300 children in our 102 low decile partner schools. Kiwi kids are going to school cold, wet and hungry and as a result are less able to learn. We have a further 22,000 children on our waiting list.” Julie continues; “The proceeds from Big Night In will give these kids a chance to increase their ability to learn and boost their self-esteem and attendance at school, giving them a greater chance in life. This is an opportunity for Kiwis to show their generosity and help make a real difference for kids living in poverty in our own back yard.”

TV3 will broadcast the 21.5 hour special Big Night In programme starting at 8.30pm on Saturday 20 June 2009 featuring a host of celebrities including New Zealand and international stars. The continuous broadcast will feature traditional telethon favourites such as dares and the phone bank but Co-Director, Kathy Cunningham says it’s not all about nostalgia. “Most New Zealanders have fond memories of telethon and the Kiwi generosity and sense of community lives on. Now with the help of new technology and our star cast it’s time to pull out all the stops and revamp the format. Big Night In is going to be an amazing entertainment experience that will raise millions of dollars to assist Kiwi kids living in poverty.”

Brent Impey, CEO of MediaWorks comments, "We’re delighted to provide media airtime on our radio and television networks to help KidsCan. As a company, we are absolutely committed to being an integral part of the communities of New Zealand, and supporting young Kiwis is a way of helping build a great future for this country. KidsCan is a very positive organisation which seeks to help youngsters in a practical way, enabling them to get the most out of school - and that is a fundamental right every child should have."

The Big Night In announcement was made today at a media launch at Auckland’s Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®, the main venue for the 2009 telethon. A plethora of New Zealand celebrities attended including TV3’s Mike McRoberts who hosted the event. Among the KidsCan Ambassadors Jordan Luck and Donald Reid provided music and 50 students from Weymouth Intermediate School wearing their KidsCan adidas All Blacks raincoats sang the national anthem.

KidsCan Patron and All Black Ali Williams along with international ambassador and NZ Hollywood star, Martin Henderson sent special video messages of support to the audience. Henderson will join a glittering array of international stars on the night of the event in June.


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