Countdown raises massive $1.1 million for Kids Hospital Appeal

Eleven children’s hospitals nationwide will benefit from local fundraising efforts

21 November 2016: The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal has raised a massive $1.174 million for 11 children’s hospitals nationwide, with fundraising efforts spanning the country from Kerikeri down to Invercargill.

The 11-week appeal finished on 23 October and this year’s contribution brings the total amount raised during the Appeal’s 10-year history to more than $10.4 million.

Countdown stores across the country got creative to raise funds, with store teams organising book sales in Hamilton and vintage car shows in West Auckland, to a trivia night in Waipukurau and a charity ball in Wanganui and much more. The title of most unique fundraising effort goes to Countdown Invercargill for hosting a competition to find Gore’s Biggest Bogan. After a thorough search, car fanatic Steven Thomas, also known as Rangi, claimed the crown.

Countdown customers and hospital staff also got involved in local fundraising activities, raising funds for the purchase of much needed medical equipment for 11 children’s hospital wards throughout the country.

Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal spokesperson, Ruth Krippner, said communities and customers have rallied and significantly contributed to fundraising efforts.

“Thousands of Kiwi kids are admitted to hospital each year, and it is an extremely difficult time for them and their families. This year’s fundraising efforts demonstrate community spirit, and a desire to help these children by raising funds for vital medical equipment that will help with their recovery,” says Ms Krippner.

 The Appeal has helped purchase equipment to assist with the treatment of children like Liam Parsons, a four-year-old boy from Tuatapere who suffers from acute asthma and was the star of the 2016 Appeal campaign. Liam was admitted to Southland Hospital last year for respiratory distress, and was administered high-flow oxygen and hooked up to heart and oxygen monitors. The pulse oximeter, purchased with funds raised from Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, measured the proportion of oxygen in Liam’s blood during his further three terrifying trips to the emergency room. For children, asthma is one of the most common causes of hospital admissions, and an estimated 1 in 7 children take medication for asthma in New Zealand.

As part of this year’s Appeal, Countdown brought Liam’s dream of being a policeman to life for a day. He was flown to Wellington to train with the recruits at the Royal New Zealand Police College and spent the day in uniform, racing around the skid pan track in a police car and testing the obedience of the police dogs and puppies.

Cheque presentations will take place throughout the next few months to present the participating hospitals with funds from this year’s Appeal.

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