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Million Dollar Donation For Starship Oncology Ward

Media Release

Tuesday 7th October, 2008

Million Dollar Donation For Starship Oncology Ward Rebuild

Steve Williams, Starship Foundation supporter and caddy to golfing superstar Tiger Woods, today handed over his pledged million dollar donation to the Starship Foundation to help with the rebuild of its Oncology and Haemotology Ward.

Steve announced the seven figure donation last October upon hearing the Foundation needed over $5 million for a desperately needed rebuild of its cancer ward. Today he made good on that promise and handed over the money in front of a deeply appreciative audience of patients and families, staff and Starship board members.

Starship Foundation Chief Executive, Andrew Young, says such a large donation is a very rare occurrence in New Zealand fundraising.

“This is the first time in the Starship Foundation’s history where a million dollars has been donated by an individual New Zealander – it is absolutely unique. From a charity perspective, we’re still completely blown away by this,” he says.

The cancer ward at Starship treats two thirds of all child oncology cases from around New Zealand and while the medical care is second to none, the rooms and other facilities are not. Overseas research shows that by getting the physical environment right, survival rates will increase, giving patients the best chance possible.

The rebuild, which is now just $284,000 shy of its target, will begin in November. The Foundation is confident public support will help them reach the $5.5M target by the time the rebuild is complete.

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Steve Williams has commented that as a father, a donation to Starship seemed like the right choice. The funds come from the Steve Williams Foundation, which traditionally supports junior golf projects, however Steve and his wife Kirsty decided last year they wanted to make a difference in another area.

While in New Zealand Steve will also be commentating at the Kiwi Challenge event at Kauri Cliffs in Northland. The event will see four international ‘young guns’ face off at Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs courses on October 27 and 28.

Part of the proceeds from the event will also come to Starship.

The Starship Foundation took on the challenge of raising the funds for the ward rebuild early last year. The project has been supported at the highest level by many generous parties including the RA Bell Trust, Canteen, Lions Clubs of New Zealand as well as large personal donations from Graeme and Robyn Hart and South Island businesswoman, Gina Satterthwaite.

Also supporting the project are the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust, Child Cancer Foundation, and corporate supporters Lorraine Lea Linens and Baxter Healthcare.

“The Foundation would also like to thank the many generous donors from around New Zealand who have donated to appeals and a street collection for the project over the past year,” says Andrew Young.


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