A gift for spe­cial kids

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page -

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.”

Photo: FIONA GOODALL

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.

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