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Barfoot & Thompson creates Reading Magic


6 November 2007

Media Release


Barfoot & Thompson creates Reading Magic
with Keven Mealamu

Barfoot & Thompson has appointed rugby hero Keven Mealamu as the company’s ‘Ambassador to Starship’ and one of his first jobs will be to help create a book for the Barfoot & Thompson Magic of Reading programme at Starship Hospital.

As well as being a talented rugby player, Keven Mealamu is also a keen amateur artist and he’s agreed to team with a lucky Auckland or Northland primary school class to illustrate a book for the Magic of Reading programme.

Magic of Reading is fully funded by Barfoot & Thompson and sees each child who spends a night or more in Starship receive a new book to read and take home with them – that’s about 15,000 books every year.

Barfoot & Thompson will launch a competition in primary schools early next year, inviting classes to come up with a story concept to be turned into a compelling book for young readers. The winning class will get to work on a real publishing project. They’ll work with experts to polish their story ideas and Keven will provide the illustrations.

Keven’s kept his secret passion for drawing to himself until now, but has agreed to use his creative talents to benefit the Barfoot & Thompson Magic of Reading programme. “I don’t consider myself an artist, I certainly haven’t been classically trained but I enjoy the process of drawing and try to use the time I have available outside of my family and professional commitments to be creative.”

Barfoot & Thompson Director Peter Thompson says, “We’re thrilled to have Keven on board as our ‘Ambassador to Starship’ and very excited about the upcoming book project. It’s great to be able to showcase a different side of one of New Zealand’s best loved rugby heroes and contribute to the Magic of Reading programme at the same time.”

Barfoot & Thompson will fund the production of the finished book. As well as providing copies free of charge to the Magic of Reading programme at Starship, the limited edition book will also be offered for sale with all proceeds benefiting the Starship Foundation.

Barfoot & Thompson is a Five Star Sponsor of the Starship Foundation, one of five companies committed to supporting the Foundation at the highest level.

ENDS


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