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Deserving kids take trip of a lifetime on Children’s Day

March 3, 2014

Deserving kids take trip of a lifetime on Children’s Day without leaving the ground

Deserving children from four charities traveled in style to Auckland Airport on Children’s Day for a behind-the-scenes airside adventure thanks to the generosity of 25 Corporate Cabs owner-drivers.

The fun day was the drivers’ idea, and they thought it appropriate to hold it on Sunday, March 2.

The drivers and other Corporate Cabs volunteers are collectively donating 150 hours (25 drivers x six hours + other volunteers) of time to the 25 children from Ronald McDonald House Auckland, Kidney Kids, Cure Kids and Kidz First.

The drivers, who came up with the initiative and helped organise the day, picked up the children and their families and caregivers from all over Auckland and drove them in comfort to Auckland Museum to be met by Basil the Dinosaur before heading in convoy to the airport.

Auckland Airport, sponsorship partner for the event, gave the kids a lifetime experience including a Marae welcome, a demonstration from NZ Customs Detector Dogs, a taste of airside action with the Airport Emergency Service, and to see the simulator.

In addition this year a gymnastics demonstration was also given by Katherine Paton, an inspirational young woman who received a kidney transplant in 2008. She may need another transplant for her kidney in years to come, but in the meantime she continues her top level gymnastic career.

Katherine was third in the New Zealand national late last year, and has just come back from the United States where she competed in two competitions in Los Angeles and Los Vegas. Next she plans to travel to the Australian nationals.

As well as providing inspiration for the kids of rising above life’s challenges to pursue all opportunities, Katherine’s involvement in the fun day was also a chance to help her fundraising efforts.

Corporate Cabs owner-driver, Noel Knight, from Howick, says many of the kids who came on Sunday were bravely battling serious illnesses that affect them and also impact their families and those close to them.

“This was an opportunity for us to provide them with a unique and enjoyable experience that we hope will help them forget their sickness and pain, even if just for a short time.”

Auckland Airport’s general manager corporate affairs, Charles Spillane, says the fun day has become a special event for the airport, and is delighted it has become an annual fixture at Auckland Airport.

“We are lucky here at the airport that there is always a lot going on and so much to see, so we could make this a great day to remember for the kids and their families,” he says.

The children were nominated by the four organisations, which all work to make children’s lives better.

About the organisations which nominated children:

Cure Kids funds innovative, results-driven research into all childhood diseases which affect New Zealand children and their families.

“Cure Kids is grateful to Corporate Cabs for treating our ambassadors to such a wonderful day. Cure Kids is unique in that it funds medical research in to children's life-threatening illnesses. So we really appreciate the support companies give us to make them feel special, while we can direct our funds into finding the cures these kids need.” Vicki Lee, Cure Kids CEO.

Kidz First Children’s Hospital is an 82-bed unit within Middlemore Hospital.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience for many of our children. We know this day will bring smiles to the faces of our children and perhaps inspire a new career dream. Thank you Corporate Cabs and Auckland Airport for providing this fun day out.” Marlene Stratton, Service Manager, Kidz First Children’s Hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Auckland is a ‘home away from home’ for families from all over New Zealand whose children require potentially lifesaving treatment.

“Being far from home with a child needing specialist medical treatment is never easy. So here at Ronald McDonald House Auckland we provide more than just a place to sleep, ensuring that the 80 families with us each night are better placed to get through their medical journey. Key to this is being able to spend time away from the hospital campus and with the help of our friends Corporate Cabs we can offer families an opportunity to put aside their worries and have a day to remember at the Auckland Airport Fun Day. Despite everything that our families may be going through we know that having time to simply focus on having fun will bring a great deal of comfort to children and adults alike and provide a welcomed distraction. We have a House full of excited children who cannot wait for the Fun Day so thank you Corporate Cabs for bringing a smile to their faces!” Wayne Howett, Ronald McDonald House Auckland Chief Executive.

Kidney Kids is a group of New Zealand parents and children, who are dealing with kidney issues.

“Kidney Kids of New Zealand and our families have been privileged to be invited to take part in the Corporate Cabs Airport Experience for 2013. It means a lot to our children who suffer from kidney disease or renal failure to have the opportunity to attend and experience an event as unique and special as the Corporate Cabs Fun Day Out. Our children, who spend so much of their life waiting for a chance to lead normal lives, are offered a chance to ‘enjoy the moment’ in a safe and secure environment.” Keith Mackenzie, Kidney Kids Acting Chief Executive.

About Corporate Cabs
Corporate Cabs is New Zealand’s premier national cab operator, with a 400-strong fleet in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.

Founded 25 years ago, Corporate Cabs’ owner-drivers have carved an enviable reputation from their commitment to providing respectable, reliable, professional services and going the extra mile for their customers.

ENDS

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