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Wonky Donkey Man Tunes In As Ambassador For Camp Quality


Wonky Donkey Man Tunes In As Ambassador For Camp Quality

12 September 2012: One of New Zealand’s most popular singer song writers and author of picture books, Craig Smith (the Wonky Donkey Man), has swung in to support a charity dedicated to bringing fun, hope and happiness to children living with cancer.

Camp Quality New Zealand (CQNZ) is a not-for-profit volunteer organisation, established more than 25 years ago, which provides a range of programmes across New Zealand for more than 300 children aged 5-16 and year-round support to their families.

Smith, who calls Queenstown home although he spends much of his time performing and reading to youngsters throughout Australasia, says connecting with young people of all ages through his songs and more recently picture books, is where he feels most comfortable.

“Bringing joy to youngsters through music is more than a job for me, it is my passion. To help kids who have experienced tough times try and forget their worries and just have a fun time was a ‘no brainer’ to me,” he says. “And if being involved with young people draws more attention to the good work of Camp Quality, then great.”

His first album of children’s songs ‘Not Just for Kids’ released in 2007, contained numbers like Wonky Donkey, Willbee the Bumblebee and Kaha the Kea which have become classics. A year later Wonky Donkey won an APRA Silver Scroll for ‘Best Children’s Song of the Year.’

The catchy and quirky children’s songs developed a new life as picture books with the first, The Wonky Donkey, selling out several print runs and being voted 2010 NZ Post ‘Children’s Choice Award’ Winner. A year later it was the No.1 selling picture book in Australasia and has currently sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide.

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That was followed by the release of Willbee the Bumblebee, with sales now exceeding 100,000 and a third book Kaha the Kea is due for release on September 15, the day after ODD SHOE DAY - Camp Quality’s first national fund raising and awareness initiative, which Craig is happy to support.

“We are delighted to welcome Craig to our family of Ambassadors,” says Camp Quality chairman, Gary Troup. “He has already lent his support in a number of ways and his books and music have huge appeal with our young campers.”

Camp Quality is seeking a gold coin donation from Kiwis young and old prepared to wear odd shoes to school, work or even while out and about this Friday. “The idea is to make ODD SHOE DAY a fun experience,” says Mr Troup “and we hope even those who chose to wear normal footwear will also support us with a donation.”

Mr Troup says more than 80 schools nationally have also agreed to support the gold coin initiative as have a number of Lions Clubs plus Mazda dealerships, Re/Max Real Estate and Mi Piaci and Overland Footwear stores nationwide. ”We are most grateful for the wonderful support Camp Quality has received.”

According to Child Cancer Foundation statistics, around 150 young New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer each year. Camp Quality passionately believes in the power of fun to help these children and their families overcome the challenges cancer brings.


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