Super effort for the hospital kids' ward

The Rotorua Hospital children's ward is more than $35,000 better off thanks to staff at the city's two Countdown stores.

Staff spent three months fundraising as part of the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal. Across the country, this year's appeal raised more than $1.2 million - the most raised in a year since the programme began in 2007.

Countdown Rotorua store manager Steve Green said his store and the Countdown at Rotorua Central raised close to $30,000 and all the money raised locally went into a national pool before being split among children's wards at 10 hospitals in New Zealand.

Some of the money was raised in a national raffle which was won by Rotorua's Dave Ward who collected a 2012 VW Golf worth $38,500.

Fundraising also included sausage sizzles, Zumba, a masquerade ball, a 24-hour relay race, and Mr Green, along with two other Countdown staff from elsewhere in New Zealand, rode their bicycles from New Plymouth to Hawke's Bay.

Countdown regional manager Keith Whiteman, who is based in Tauranga, said the Rotorua stores raised the most out of the 15 Countdown stores in his region which covered the area between Waihi and Gisborne.

The Rotorua stores raised the third-highest amount in New Zealand.

About 12 staff from the hospital as well as staff from both Countdown stores, were at the presentation yesterday when they presented a cheque for $35,220 to the children's ward at the hospital. The amount donated equalled the value of the items the ward had put on its wishlist.

The children's ward clinical nurse manager, Bridget Wilson, said she was overwhelmed at the amount donated.

"I'm blown away. I can't believe it. I'm absolutely delighted. It was nice that all of our wishlist was met. To be told 'you've got your wishlist', wow."

The money will be spent on a wishlist of clinical equipment that will make a significant impact on the care delivery for children in the Lakes District Health Board area. The items of clinical equipment are advanced diagnostic and assessment tools.

"Being able to purchase these and have them in the children's unit means assessment can be done in house, rather than moving children to other areas of the hospital," Miss Wilson said.

"Some items of equipment will now be available locally, where they have been borrowed from other areas until now."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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