A gift for special kids
HSBC Round the Bays is middle-aged but showing no signs of slowing down.
The annual walk and fun run is approaching 40 but Fairfax Media chief executive Joan Withers told members of the Gifted Kids Programme some things get better with age.
She told a gathering at Waikowhai Intermediate to receive $75,000 raised at this year’s event, that HSBC Round the Bays had grown to become one of New Zealand’s most significant events.
Organised in conjunction with the Auckland Joggers Club, Fairfax Media – publishers of the Auckland City Harbour News – valued its association with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation as the major sponsor.
“It is one of the city’s most important fundraising events, with the money raised going to worthwhile charities, and that we are proud of.”
She said it would take too long to list all the charities that had been helped but the sum raised ran to millions.
The Greenlane Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Service’s work with blue babies had been supported.
“These newborns face ongoing heart surgery and it’s critical they receive world-class care,” she says.
The Telepaediatric Service had also benefited. It supplies health-based videofacilities so terminally-ill children can be cared for at home.
Carlson School for cerebral palsy sufferers had been provided with special chairs and bikes that allowed children more mobility and funding for the Heart Foundation’s Jump Rope for Heart had been made available.
Ms Withers said as a regular rider herself the support for Riding for the Disabled delighted her.
“Riding is fantastic and to see people with disabilities get in the saddle has been terrific,” she says.
As a former board member of the South Auckland Health Foundation she had also been pleased when money was made available for Middlemore’s National Burn Centre in 2006.
HSBC Round the Bays had also made a $30,000 donation to the Starship Foundation’s appeal to rebuild the cancer ward.
“That was a special grant because we looked at the accounts and found out we had more money than we thought.
“We talked to HSBC and they were delighted to pass the money on.”
She said Fairfax Media’s own First Books programme, which makes reading books available to kindergartens in some of the most financially troubled areas of the country, was also supported.
“Of course Gifted Kids has a special relationship with HSBC, which is committed to supporting a scheme dedicated to meeting the needs of gifted children,” Ms Withers says.
“It maximises the potential for students to contribute to the country’s economic productivity and we at Fairfax Media are firm believers, just as those at Gifted Kids are, that if these children achieve their potential, so too will New Zealand.”
Gift for the gifted: Pupils at Waikowhai Intermediate say thanks for supporting the Gifted Kids Programme to HSBC marketing head Lesley Pope, left, Fairfax Media head Joan Withers and Suburban Newspapers general manager David Penny.