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Skycity Hosts Kidz First Christmas Party

Skycity Hosts Kidz First Christmas Party

Famous faces added to the festive cheer at this year’s Kidz First Children’s Hospital Christmas party, which was held on Saturday 4 December at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre.

Television personalities Suzy Cato, Stacey Daniels and Shortland Street’s Michael Galvin, were just a few of the celebrities who joined in the celebrations with over 250 Kidz First community patients and their families.

The party was a fantastic few hours of fun, beginning with a bus journey to the central city from the Manukau SuperClinic. A few lucky children travelled in style in an HSV high-performance Commodore, while some rode in a classic Fire Engine.

Waiting to greet the children was a showcase of entertainers including clowns, face-painters, Amazing Chicane the magician, Nesquik Bunny, LJ Hooker bear and Scholastic Lucky the Cat.

Eight-year-old Reece Pemberton came to the party with his mum, brother and two sisters. The Papakura resident, who had his face painted like Spiderman, says he loved meeting the celebrities and seeing Santa.

“It was really cool - it was the best Christmas party I’ve ever been too. I collected seven autographs and on the way I got to sit in the front of the Fire Engine and it sounded like a V8,” he says.

No party would be complete without the arrival of Santa who came armed with a sack full of gifts donated by SKYCITY and Planet Fun. Smiles spread across the children’s faces as the stars of Shortland Street and Studio 2 helped Mr Claus hand out the presents.

As a long-term supporter of the Middlemore-based children’s hospital, SKYCITY was delighted to host this year’s Christmas party.

General Manager Communications, Megan McSweeney, says it is a wonderful way to further support the children and families of Counties Manukau.

“This is the fourth year SKYCITY has put on a Christmas party for children who have been treated at Kidz First Children’s Hospital. We’re delighted to bring the out-patients and their families something special after what has most likely been a difficult time,” she says.

The Kidz First Christmas party also coincided with the switching on of Sky Tower’s Christmas lights that same evening. From dusk, 4 December through to 2 January 2005, the red and green Sky Tower lighting is dedicated to the children of Kidz First Children’s Hospital for the second consecutive year.

Kidz First, which opened on the Middlemore Hospital site in 2000, has an 85-bed inpatient facility, with its own emergency department and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It specialises in burns, plastics and orthopaedic treatment and also has a large community-based paediatric service.

SKYCITY has supported the hospital since 2000, donating in excess of $300,000 to its Burns and Plastic’s Unit. This year SKYCITY, together with its Auckland community trust, launched a dental health awareness campaign and funded a mobile dental caravan.

Executive director of the South Auckland Health Foundation, Pam Tregonning, says it is wonderful to have the ongoing support of SKYCITY.

“SKYCITY’s commitment over the years has been phenomenal and helped to create the wonderful family-centred hospital and community services that we are all so proud of,” she says.

The South Auckland Health Foundation supports and raises funds for the health services of Counties Manukau District Health Board, including Middlemore Hospital and Kidz First Children’s Hospital.

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