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Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal helps Kiwi kids’ dreams

Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal helps Kiwi kids’ dreams come true

Media release - 1 August 2014: Dreams are wonderful things. But despite what we are led to believe, dreams aren’t free and neither are they always easy to achieve. For three-year-old Wiremu le Comte, who dreams of one day becoming a race car driver, and 10-year-old Katie Reed, who dreams of becoming a singer, they have to be healthy to get there.

The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal helps children like Wiremu and Katie by raising money for much-needed medical equipment for 10 children’s wards across the country.

Wiremu was born with a congenital deformity (club foot) and has undergone seven extensive operations at his local Bay of Plenty Hospital. He is now a regular user of a monitoring system purchased with the funds from previous Countdown Kids Hospital Appeals.

Katie was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis (permanent enlargement of the airways of the lung) two years ago, following seven bouts of pneumonia in 15 months. She spends a lot of time in hospital having antibiotics for lung infections, and has relied on respiratory support and blood pressure monitors purchased with the funds from previous Appeals.

From 4 August – 31 October, Countdown stores are working alongside their local children’s wards to host fundraising activities. From selling cheese rolls to hosting cake stalls, thousands of Countdown and hospital ward staff will be rallying their communities to support the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.

Countdown Managing Director, Dave Chambers, says: “Last year we raised a record-breaking $1.22 million thanks to the generosity of our customers, and the commitment from our team and local District Health Boards. We’ve had some wonderful feedback from the families who benefitted from last year’s Appeal and that inspires us to try and raise even more funds this year.”

“We are proud to support the communities we live and work in and to making a difference to these kids. It’s a way we can get involved and do our bit,” he says. Since 2007, the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal has raised nearly $7 million to help change the lives of sick Kiwi kids.

Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal Chairperson, Ruth Krippner, says: “Taking part in local activities is a great way to support the children who need us. As a community, we need to raise as much money as we can to support kids like Katie and Wiremu.”

Wiremu’s mum, Charlie Tangira considers her boisterous little three-year-old boy as a gift. “When he was born I was just happy that he was here and safe because he was a twin and we lost the other baby”, she says. “I’m really thankful for the money raised by the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal; it’s helped get Wiremu mobile again. He’s so full of life, you can’t keep him still.”

Katie’s mum, Lisa Reed says: “I completely support my daughter in what she says about wanting to live life her way. She tells me “I can do anything I want to do in my life…I don’t need to let my lung disease stop me from doing things”. With the help of organisations like Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, carrying on with everyday activities is a lot easier.”

Lastly, it’s an oldie but a goodie that works its socks off - the great Kiwi tradition of selling raffle tickets. Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal will be selling tickets again this year for shoppers to be in to win a brand new Volkswagen Tiguan, valued at $64,490.

Everyone can participate by making a donation or engaging in local activities and raffles. To donate, simply:

• Visit your local Countdown supermarket and donate at the checkout;

• Purchase a Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal wristband or raffle ticket instore; or

• Donate while you’re doing your online shopping at www.shop.countdown.co.nz

More information on Wiremu, Katie and other children who have been helped by the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal can be found at www.countdown.co.nz, as well as at fundraising events and activities across New Zealand.

All funds raised go to the Appeal, with Countdown picking up administration costs.

– ENDS –


Supporting images and case study information on Wiremu Le Comte and Katie Reed are available on request.

BACKGROUND:

Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal

• The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal runs from 4 August to 31 October 2014 and is the company’s largest community initiative each year

• It was previously known as the Fresh Future Children’s Hospital Appeal and has raised nearly $7 million since it first began in 2007

• The Appeal aims to contribute to the growth and development of NZ by supporting the health of its future – Kiwi kids. With health budgets stretched, funds raised by Countdown customers through Countdown stores can help hospitals buy much-needed equipment.

• The Countdown Kids hospital appeal fundraises for 10 children's hospitals throughout NZ: Whangarei Hospital, Kidz First Children's Hospital (Auckland), Waikato Hospital, Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals, Hawkes Bay Hospital, Wellington Hospital, Greymouth Hospital, Christchurch Hospital, Dunedin Hospital and Southland Hospital.

• In 2014 there will also be additional one-off donations to both Gisborne and Nelson Hospitals

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