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August 2013

The

Magic Wand

Inside this issue: We’ve had so many fantastic stories of magical visits Who have you helped?

2-3 and amazing fundraising this month! Read on to find

out who we’ve helped and how we’ve raised the money!

Days out with Magic Wand Fundraising Stories Fantastic money-raising! Charity Champion Focus Profile on one of our Champions

And there are even more reasons to celebrate, as we’ll soon be partying on our 5th birthday! On 5th September attractions worldwide will be having bake sales, par6 ties and singing happy birthday to Merlin’s Magic Wand. Look out for the next issue commemorating this momentous event!

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Who have YOU helped? Underwater World in Mooloolaba have hosted their first Merlin’s Magic Wand visit for Stevie and his family. Stevie has cerebral palsy and, due to his condition, Stevie and his family do not often get the chance for days out. Stevie and his Mum have to live at the hospital for five days a week, so the family are unable to spend a lot of time together. So having the opportunity to spend a day together, along with Stevie’s carer who has been a part of their family for four years, was very special. Our Charity Champion at Underwater World, Gaynor Grimshaw, said “I’ve got to say, for

our first Merlin’s Magic Wand visit, I found it quite emotional but in a very good way. To see smiles on faces of a family that have had such a tough time was a delight and privilege.” Stevie’s Mum, Chrissie said that the children have taken their photos to school and have not stopped raving on about their day out.

“Thank you Merlin’s Magic Wand for putting this together. It’s amazing that each and every attraction are able to offer this experience to families that really need that little uplift in their life”.

a family that have had ”To see s miles on faces of elight and privilege.” such a toug h time was a d Page 1


Who have YOU helped?

SEA LIFE Blankenberge hosted a visit from Jomba Waas en Dender, an organisation that cares for young people with disabilities. It was a rare and fantastic opportunity for the children to have a day out, enjoying themselves at the aquarium but also making new friends in similar situations to themselves. A representative from the group said “The children enjoyed the seals and sea lions very much and had a lot of fun watching the penguins! They all returned home with a fantastic feeling”. Congratulations on hosting such a fantastic visit!

“They all returned home with a fantastic feeling” Channa is a 15-year-old who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 2002, a condition that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. As a part of her wish with Kids Wish Network, Channa wanted to visit Los Angeles and Madame Tussauds Hollywood to see the stars. On August 10th , Channa’s wish was granted and she received a special visit to the attraction. The Merlin’s Magic Wand Committee at Madame Tussauds Hollywood came up with a package that included a VIP Studio Tour, a free wax hand and free souvenir tour.

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Who have YOU helped?

LEGOLAND Florida hosted a visit from the Kids of Courage foundation through Merlin’s Magic Wand. There were 450 in the group which included children, their own medical team, family and logistics team. They set up the mansion as a mini hospital so all the children could get their medications and have a cool down area out of the sun. The children had a magical day out!

5 year old Nancy visited Warwick Castle with her parents Glenn & Kerry and her 3 year old sister Edith for a special princess day on 29th July. Nancy was diagnosed with leukaemia last November. We sent Nancy and Edith some princess dresses in preparation for their visit and when they arrived they were meet by Princess Louisa who showed them around the castle. Nancy and her family were taken around the Horrible Histories areas where they met Maggie the Cook, and our Warwick Castle knights, they were then treated to an exclusive Princess Tower experience.

“Just wanted to say thank you so very much for the princess day we had last week! Nancy and Edith have been beaming ever since and we were made to feel really special by yourself, Princess Louisa and the other staff in character who we came in to contact with during our day - it really is a very special memory that we will hold dear.” Page 3


Fundraising Success! xcellence Fund raising E s Award Winner

Hamburg Dungeon have had a very successful fundraising event for Merlin's Magic Wand! Claudia Vollmers and her team raised €654 by arranging a raffle in the queue line. The raffle entertained the guests, motivated the team and raised funds for Merlin’s Magic Wand. They are now working on arranging a children’s visit to Hamburg Dungeon so that the team are able to see how their fundraising really makes a difference. Well done to the team in Hamburg! SEA LIFE Benalmadena have organised a fantastic raffle for Merlin’s Magic Wand! The prizes include a VIP SEA LIFE pass and a football signed by the players of Real Madrid! Sales have been great so far, with guests and employees snapping them up. We’ll let you know the final total when the raffle is drawn!

Arran Wilcox from LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is cycling from Rome to home for Merlin’s Magic Wand! Please donate by texting ‘ROME47 £5’ to 70070.

Mike Diwell, Madame Tussauds London and The London Dungeon Engineers came up with a great way of raising money for Merlin’s Magic Wand - taking some old scrap steel to a metal merchant. This proved to be a huge undertaking, as there were three and half tonnes of this steel and it was attached to the old London Dungeon boat ride within the Tooley Street railway arches. Undeterred, volunteers from the London Facilities Department came in on their own time and ripped the steel out. They worked incredibly hard to remove the steel and trade it in to raise an amazing £2,352! Page 4


Fundraising Success!

On August 10th , the team at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Dallas & SEA LIFE Dallas Fort Worth put their faces and bodies on the line to raise $745 for Merlin’s Magic Wand. There were several activities going on during the second annual MMW Fest including a dunk tank, which raised over $300, and the Pie-A-Manager event for employees which raised over $250. They also had raffles, LEGO builds, and food/drink. Several team members were on hand to volunteer and help make the day a huge success as over 1,000 guests took part in the festivities. Two SEA LIFE Scarborough relay teams entered the Castle Howard Triathlon comprising of a 400m swim, 23K cycle and 4K run. The teams were the SEA LIFE Sharks, made up of Lyndsey Crawford, Tim Atkinson and Mike Salt and the SEA LIFE Turtles, made up of Nat Emmerson, Harry Gunning and Amy McFarlane. Both teams finished in just over 1.5hours and raised a fantastic £400 between them for Merlin’s Magic Wand.

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s u c o F n io p m a h Charity C Charity Champions are our unsung heroes! There is a champion at each attraction and they coco-ordinate all Merlin’s Magic Wand activity throughout their attraction and communicate their fundraising success and ideas with the team. This profile highlights one of our fantastic champions - we couldn’t do what we do without them!

Name: Angela Rudd Attraction: SEA LIFE Hunstanton Job Title: Retail & FOH Manager What was the last event you organised for MMW? I organized a charity walk for MMW – ‘Walk A Mile In Their Shoes’ in memory of loved ones who have passed away, with the proceeds going to MMW. (Editor - Angela has also organised a fantastic initiative called ‘Spend a Penny, Spare a Penny’ - look out for more info soon!)

Where is your favourite holiday destination? Devon What is your top tip for fundraising? Don’t take no for an answer & always think outside the box!!! Des cribe yours el f in 3 wor ds : Stark Raving Bonkers!!! That’s what my GM said!!! W hat are the bigges t chal l enges you f ace whe n f undrais ing? Finding the time & coming up with fresh ideas. W ho woul d you l ike to pl ay you in a movie of your l if e s tory? Renee Zellweger – Bridget Jones

Do you know who your Charity Champion is? Page 6


The Magic Wand August 2013