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Red Nose Day enables life-changing child health research

18 December 2018
Kiwis’ support for Red Nose Day enables life-changing child health research

Cure Kids CEO Frances Benge with Cure Kids child ambassadors Eva, Addison and Harry

Ground-breaking medical research to improve, extend and save the lives of Kiwi kids will go ahead thanks to the generosity of Kiwis who raised nearly $1 million for Cure Kids in this year’s Red Nose Day appeal.

Thousands of New Zealanders participated in a variety of activities during the appeal month in September – taking part in bake sales, mufti days, a community walk and a cycling race, to raise funds for Cure Kids, the largest funder of child health research outside the government.

A courageous grandmother, Cure Kids ambassador Art Green and CEOs and business executives from leading companies around the country all took the plunge off Auckland Sky Tower as part of the ‘Red Nose Day SkyJump challenge’, to do their bit for the cause.

Cure Kids CEO Frances Benge, who also jumped off the Sky Tower for Red Nose Day, says without the generous support of New Zealanders, Cure Kids would not be able to fund vital child health research.

“Each year we’re blown away by Kiwis who donate their time so selflessly to get behind this iconic appeal. Whether it’s organising a community fundraiser event, hosting a school bake sale, or joining in a fun run, it’s heart-warming to see everyone get involved, with the health and wellbeing of children being the common thread,” says Benge.

Support for Red Nose Day was also shown in more visible ways with landmarks such as Nelson’s Christ Church Cathedral and Nelson Clock Tower shining red on Red Nose Day itself, on 28 September. A star-studded gala dinner at Pullman Auckland was also held in September, attracting donations of over $200,000.

The first Red Nose Day was held in 1989, with schools, workplaces and communities donning red noses to raise awareness and funds for research into sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI).

Later, Red Nose Day widened its focus to raise funds to support other important areas of child health, including cystic fibrosis, child cancers, obesity, autism spectrum disorders, asthma, inherited heart conditions, mental health, bowel conditions, oral health, infectious diseases, epilepsy and Type 1 diabetes.

Children of the 1980s and 1990s will hold fond memories of the annual fundraiser, and the catchy theme song ‘You make the whole world smile’ that became synonymous with Red Nose Day.

Hundreds of thousands of red noses have been donned by New Zealanders since the inception of Red Nose Day. Since 2010, 12 different designs of novelty red noses have been in circulation for the fundraiser.

This year Kiwi kids were invited to design new novelty red noses, with three winners seeing their designs sold at Briscoes and Rebel Sports stores.

For the second year running, Qantas organised a Qantas Ball Pitt at Westfield Albany, and Botany Town Centre hosted All Secure Self Storage ‘Crack the Code’, a fun activation for Red Nose Day.

“Cure Kids is currently funding over $10 million in child health projects and the Red Nose Day annual appeal enables us to further support research to help make a positive impact on the lives of families in New Zealand and around the world,” says Benge.


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