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About us and our history

Hi there.

Thank you for taking the time in your busy schedule to consider supporting this year's Special Children's Christmas Parties, held in association with the Cancer Society and Variety - the Children's Charity. Here's a bit of history for you:

This very worthy event has been running throughout Australia for over 20 years, currently in 21 different markets. The events in New Zealand have started more than 13 years ago and include Wellington / Manawatu / Wairarapa, Christchurch / Ashburton, Auckland, Waikato, Tauranga / BOP, Rotorua and Timaru. We also host mid year events in the New Plymouth, Wanganui, Tauramanui, Hawkes Bay and Taupo regions called the Special Children's Extravaganza's.



Celebrities
At some past events we have featured high profile celebrities such as Elton John, Rod Stewart and Billy Joel. Here in New Zealand we have had many local sporting hero's including members of the All Blacks, Silver Ferns, Black Ferns, and celebrities such as Jason Faafio, the crew from the popular TV show "What Now" (who were very popular compares' at all the events last year), Matt & Dana from Studio 2, Prime Minister Helen Clarke, Prime Minister John Key, Simon Dallow, "Show Kids", The Funky Monkeys, Dean Barker, Mandy Smith, Mark Todd, Kevin Smith, Suzy Cato, TrueBliss, Anthony Ray Parker, Graeme Sinclair from "Gone Fishin", Craig Parker, Lana Cockcroft, The Young New Zealanders, Andy Dye ("Handy Andy") comedian Mike King, Tony Christianson, Andrew Clay, Jordon Luck, Hammond Gamble, Jennifer's Music, the Cookie Muncher with all his cookies, Mr. Fungus, the team from 91ZM and Radio Hauraki and many, many more!


Children
We source between 1500 and 2300 children (depending on the area) suffering from one or more of the following: Life threatening illness, physical and intellectual impairment, domestic violence or living in underprivileged circumstances. We contact between 350 - 550 Government organisations, local charities, societies, and special schools / kindergartens in each region, effectively covering all children facing challenges in life. Many companies are finding this promotion very attractive as they can support a large number of charities & organisations etc, all at once, as well as receiving multimedia promotion in return. As a result more and more companies are choosing to support this and only this event each year. Attendance on the day is by invitation only and we give these special needs children a day in their lives they will never forget (and often the sponsors that turn up as well!!)


The Party
This years parties will start at 10:45 am and run for three and a half fun filled hours during which time the children will be treated to a star studded stage show featuring many local, national and international artists. There will be bouncing castles, face painting, merry-go-rounds, petting zoos, pony rides, clowns, dancers, fairies, magicians, hoop shooting contests, bowling alleys, Police and Army displays, etc to provide plenty of fun and entertainment. With all this fun to be had there will be all the drinks, lollies, chippies, sausages, iceblocks, ice creams, burgers, sandwiches, fruit juice, apples etc. that we can provide to keep the energy levels high.


Santa & Toys
Santa has made some spectacular entrances such as abseiling down from a 20 metre high roof with his 6 helper elves, on horseback with Mark Todd at the reins, in a Ferrari, on Harley Davidson motor bikes, in a Rolls Royce Limousine, on a sleigh pulled by 2 Newfoundland dogs, on a fire engine etc. After wishing everyone a merry Christmas it is then off to the HUGE Santa's caves filled with thousands of top quality gifts that spread for over 70 metres. Here every child, according to 5 different age groups, will receive 3 or 4 high quality gifts to call their own and personally meet Santa.

Last year there were over 7000 gifts in each Santa's cave large which included large soft toys that played tunes, Computers, 14 piece, orchestra sets, phones, radio controlled stunt cars, rock n roll guitars, vibrating fish cushions, play mats, CD walkmans, constructions sets and many more.


Sponsors
We had a fantastic response in all regions last year with hundreds of businesses, schools, organisations and trusts supporting these very worthy events and we're looking forward to even bigger and better events this year. Without support from these organizations special events of this magnitude would simply not be possible! The more support we receive the more children we are able to invite (over and above the minimum 1500). Any food or toys left over are distributed to children in hospital, Salvation Army, City Missions, refuge shelters etc.

Due to the success of the campaigns for our major sponsors they choose to support these events year after year - for some this will be their 13th year in a row! Some examples are: Harvey Norman, Transpower, Outward Bound, Hill & Stewart, NEC, Shell, Youth Town, Fujitsu, American Express, Liberty Finance, Orix, Avis Car Rental, Fisher & Paykel etc. To date we have retained approximately 80% (so far) of our smaller supporters so this is obviously something not to miss out on!


Media Coverage
Because of this, our events receive TONNES of media attention in the past we have received, radio promotion throughout NZ, full colour newspaper reports in major newspapers each area TV1 & 2 regional advertising, (TV3 were so impressed after seeing the Auckland event they also gave us $30,000 worth of national TV promotion one year), full page article in New Idea, article in Woman's Day, double page article in Essentially Food, many other articles in local magazines and newspapers. This obviously gives all our supporters a lot of ongoing promotion for their companies over and above what they receive with their support package.

We have even been approached in the past by organisations such as Rotary and Lions Clubs to join in with our event this year so every year we are getting bigger and better.

The ongoing success and growth of our parties can be attributed to the extremely high quality of our events, the broad reaching manner in which we contact hundreds of charities & schools to source thousands of children to attend and the continuing support of the business community throughout New Zealand.

Our major sponsorship packages offer the possibility for companies to develop a valuable dimension to their business. It is an opportunity to be recognised as being pro-active within their local community and to be seen as putting something of value back into it. Major sponsorship implies ownership of the event which can only benefit your company profile.

The multi-media promotional components that are included within our support packages are of exceptional value... and we take care of all the logistics for you! We look forward to your reply and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.




Mark Wikstrom
New Zealand Events Coordinator
The Radio Network Special Children's Christmas Parties