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Kiwis take on Red Nose Day challenges to fund child health research

Cure Kids has launched its national Red Nose Day appeal, challenging Kiwis to take on a variety of activities during September to raise funds and awareness for child health research.

Thousands of New Zealanders will follow the lead of Cure Kids ambassadors Art Green and Matilda Rice as they do their bit to help raise $1 million for child health research. The celebrity couple, who are passionate about child health, will both dye their hair red ahead of Red Nose Day on Friday 29 September 2017.

The Red Nose Day appeal runs from 1-30 September and will see more than 800 schools, 400 businesses and 500 volunteers from around the country take part. They will fundraise through a variety of activities – from casual Fridays and bake sales, to fun Red Nose Day challenges like dying your hair red, or challenging your CEO to SkyJump off Auckland’s Sky Tower.

Funds raised from Red Nose Day will help support research to find cures and improved treatments for serious health conditions that affect Kiwi kids, including child and adolescent mental health, stillbirth, child cancers, obesity, inherited heart conditions and autism spectrum disorders, among many others.

“By participating in Red Nose Day, New Zealanders can have fun while helping to support vital child health research led by New Zealand’s greatest minds. Too many children are not reaching their potential because of serious health conditions. If we are to improve outcomes for the thousands of kids affected by these conditions, it is critical that we invest in high-quality research,” says Cure Kids CEO Frances Benge.

“This year there are many ways Kiwis can get involved in Red Nose Day – from making a donation online or by picking up a novelty red nose from one of our hundreds of supporting retailers, to running a fundraising event.

“We’d also love people to have a bit of fun and participate in a Red Nose Day Dare and Share challenge – from wearing a red afro and pantyhose, to red toes and speedos. For those a little less adventurous, we’re asking Kiwis to simply strike a pose for a Red Nose,” said Ms Benge.

Those who are game enough to take on a challenge are asked to take a photo or video and share it on their social media pages, tagging friends to take on a ‘dare’ as well as donate to Red Nose Day.

Cure Kids ambassadors Art and Matilda have decided to dye their hair red in the lead up to Red Nose Day because they are passionate about making a difference on the lives of Kiwi kids.

“Every kid deserves the best start in life and if we can make a small difference by raising funds for Cure Kids this Red Nose Day then we hope other New Zealanders will have a go too and together we can raise $1 million for important medical research,” says Art, who is excited about the positive change Cure Kids is making on the lives of New Zealand kids and would eventually like to see more research around healthy eating and the impact that has on Kiwi kids. 2

“We want to make a difference while having some good old-fashioned fun along the way – Art and I are going to dye the tips of our hair red, and we’d like to challenge the public to join us and take on their own Red Nose Day challenges to help Kiwi kids,” says Matilda.

The first Red Nose Day in New Zealand was held in 1989 and quickly became embedded in our culture, with thousands fondly donning the iconic red noses as a symbol of support since.

Funds raised through Red Nose Day appeals have contributed to incredible breakthroughs in medical research. These include reducing rates of stillbirth by 40%, prevention of over 3000 sudden unexpected deaths in infancy through increased understanding of risks associated with infant sleep position, and the development of a world leading programme to identify and protect young people with inherited heart conditions.

“Red Nose Day is engrained in our culture – many New Zealanders still remember the catchy ‘You make the whole world smile, with your little button nose’ song and feel strongly about continuing to support child health research.

“With this generosity, Cure Kids has been able to fund research which has helped thousands of children to live longer, healthier, happier lives. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved in the past 45 years, but there is much more research to do to ensure every child has the opportunity for a healthy childhood and we’re hoping this year’s Red Nose Day appeal will be the biggest yet,” adds Benge.