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July 2013

The

Magic Wand

Inside this issue: We’re halfway through 2013 and this issue contains the Who have you helped? Days out with Magic Wand Fundraising Stories Fantastic money-raising! League Tables

2-3 Fundraising and Visit League Tables!

Take a look on pages 6-8 to see where your attraction has placed and what you can do to improve your posi4-5 tion by the end of the year. 6-9

Where have you placed? Cricket Day 2013

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How did we do? Charity Champion Focus Profile on one of our Champions

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We’ve had some fantastic results so far and we’re aiming for every attraction to have hosted a visit from Merlin’s Magic Wand children by the end of the year. Check out page 9 for more information!

Who have YOU helped?

Kristian has a rare form of Autism called Trisomy Mosaicism which affects his muscles and his ability to interact with people and express his emotions. He is a massive fan of the Dungeons, so Merlin’s Magic Wand and local charity, Miles of Smiles, arranged for Kristian to have VIP day out to remember at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon! Dungeon As part of his special day, he arrived at the Dungeon in a limo, received a behind the scenes tour, watched the actors prepare for their day and he got to wear a costume and have his make up done. He then had a free tour with his parents and had a tour of the “ratrun” where he saw all of the actors getting ready for the shows. He had lots of questions for the actors and put his new found knowledge into practice when he was dressed as a jester! A volunteer from Miles for Smiles said “To say he is on cloud nine is an understatement…he said it was the best day of his LIFE!...Mum and Dad also seemed overwhelmed and found it difficult to put into words, but the look on their faces was enough” The staff at Bl ackpool Tower Dungeon said “Kristian was an absolute delight to have at the Dungeon, you could tell he loved it and he kept practising his “Jester Stare” on unsuspecting visitors!”

“To say he was on cloud nine is an understatement...he said it was the best day of his life”

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Who have YOU helped? 3 year old Sophie suffers from cystic fibrosis. Her Mum, Kim, contacted Merlin’s Magic Wand and explained that Sophie undergoes a rigorous daily routine of medication, physiotherapy and hospital stays, just to be as healthy as possible.

“Sophie & her brother are exceptionally close and he is very aware that his sister is not as healthy as he is. He is very caring and attentive to her needs. We would benefit immensely from being able to treat both children by giving Sophie a day out that isn't centred on her medical routine and a day out for both brother and sister to have FUN together at a time when she is healthy enough to enjoy it.” They had a wonderful day out at LEGOLAND Windsor and said “Thank you so much for the tickets!

For a 3 year old little girl who goes through so much on a daily basis just to stay well, she was able to forget all that and just enjoy herself with her big brother Isaac. Thank you again we will always remember that day and will support Merlin’s Magic Wand whenever we see a collecting tin.”

Every year Hannover Medical School holds a Children’s Festival with attractions and games for the children to take part in. SEA LIFE Hannover sponsored the tombola and their mascot Sharky didn’t want to miss the chance to bring smiles to the faces of the children! Sharky visited the children in intensive care, as they were confined to bed and unable to take part in the festivities outside. He brought a lot of smiles to the faces of the children and their families. Sharky danced with some of the children outside – and one little girl fell in love with Sharky and wanted to take him home! Well done to SEA LIFE Hannover for taking the magic to the children that are unable to visit attractions. Page 2


Who have YOU helped? On Saturday, July 13, 2013 Tyler Knight and his family spent the day at LEGOLAND Florida. Florida Tyler is 6-years-old and has been battling a brain tumour since he was 16months old. Tyler and his family were headed to Florida for Tyler to have eye surgery. To boost Tyler’s spirit’s before his surgery, Jay’s Hope Foundation contacted us and we arranged a visit to LEGOLAND Florida for Tyler and his family. They had a wonderful day out.. 9 year old Matthew has hemiplegia and epilepsy. His Mum got in touch with Merlin’s Magic Wand and said “I am so proud of Matthew, he is an in-

spiration to me. He has injections in his leg and attends lots of hospital appointments, but he never complains and always has a big smile on his face. An experience like this would show him how proud we are of who he is.”

“An experience like this would show him how proud we are of who he is”

We gave the family tickets to Chessington World of Adventures, Adventures and they had a magical day out!

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Tokyo recently hosted a visit for children from Fukushima. The children now live in Tokyo following the devastation of the East Japan earthquake and a nuclear accident near their hometown. Unfortunately, they are not able to go home for 2 years. The children had their pictures taken with Bartie and joined a Builder Class provided by our Master Model Builder. In the Builder Class, our Master Model Builder had special treat for them, as they made “Akabeko”, Fukushima’s folk toy. They had a magical day out! Page 3


Fundraising Success! Staff at Madame Tussauds Washington DC raised awareness and $100 for Merlin’s Magic Wand while participating in a segway tour of iconic Washington DC wearing MMW branded t-shirts.

xcellence Fund raising E s Award Winner

Thanks to everyone that ran in the British 10k London for us last weekend! Despite the heat (and some animal costumes!) everyone managed fantastic times and the money is still coming in. See you next year! LEGOLAND Deutschland had a visit from the Ben & Jerry´s Germany Bustour! They offered free tastes of ice cream and raised €271.56 for Merlin’s Magic Wand. That’s a tasty way to fundraise!!

Staff members at Madame Tussauds Berlin collected items from their homes and their friends to sell at the local flea market. They dedicated 11.5 hours to selling the collection, shouting like market criers in the last hour! They raised an amazing €418,45! The evening (and following early morning!) of 15th June saw the second Ghost Hunt hosted by Food & Beverage at Warwick Castle. Castle There were a number of ghost hunters who joined forces with Wolf Paranormal Events to make contact with the former residents of the Castle. The evening was a massive success and they raised a whopping £1,104!

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This team of four (left to right – Jason Hough, Mike Blackman, Stuart Stent, Rupert Hough) are cycling the Coast to Coast in September for Merlin’s Magic Wand and have raised over £2,000 so far! The ride has been pushed back as Rupert has broken his foot, but they hope to be training again soon! Sponsor them here: www.justgiving.com/coast-2-coast-bike

Fundraising Success!

On July 4 th , LEGOLAND Discovery Centre & SEA LIFE Dallas Fort Worth held their first Merlin’s Magic Wand Day in which staff were allowed to wear a Merlin’s Magic Wand T-shirt instead of their uniform shirt in order to help spread the message of Merlin’s Magic Wand to guests. In observance of Independence Day, guests of LEGOLAND Discovery Centre were given the opportunity to build their very own LEGO mini flag for a $1 donation to Merlin’s Magic Wand. The LEGO build raised $315, as well as lots of smiles for all of the children who participated. Last week the Commercial Division at LEGOLAND Windsor got together to put on a charity bake sale for Merlin Magic Wand, and what a great success it was! They would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that purchased a cake and donated to Merlin Magic Wand, as they made a whopping £333.52!

On June 15 and 16 LEGOLAND Billund held their annual Star Wars Weekend, and as usual it was a great event with a spectacular parade. Guests donated DKK 1584 to Merlins Magic Wand.

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Fundraising League Tables

This table shows fundraising by Attraction as at 29th June 2013

We want to help all attractions hit their fundraising targets in 2013, so if you want your attraction higher up in the league tables, contact Sarah Ford at Merlin’s Magic Wand for advice and assistance. You can also talk to your GM or Charity Champion. Look out for an opportunity to fundraise coming soon on Merlin’s Magic Wands 5th birthday!

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Fundraising League Tables

This table shows fundraising by Guest as at 29th June 2013

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Visit League Table

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Our aim is for every Merlin attraction to have hosted a visit from seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children by the end of 2013. As you can see from the table on the previous page, lot’s of attractions have already helped Merlin’s Magic Wand children in their local community. This has provided magical experiences for thousands more children, strengthened their relationships locally and boosted positive PR for each attraction, just take a look at the examples below! Get in touch with Sarah Ford from Merlin’s Magic Wand for assistance in hitting your visits target today and help to put the magic back into childhoods worldwide!

Shanghai Chang Feng Ocean World held an amazing event for World Autism Awareness Day! Merlin’s Magic Wand children suffering from autism had a magical day out at Shanghai Chang Feng Ocean World on World Autism Awareness Day. They invited 8 families to join them for the day and the event had 34 mentions in the press, with a PR value of €230,879.

Congratulations to SEA LIFE Sydney on their very successful first visit for Merlin’s Magic Wand! A group of thrilled Merlin’s Magic Wand children had the very special chance to be the first to meet Captain Barnacles from the Octonauts and had a magical day out!

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Cricket Day 2013 The 2013 Merlin’s Magic Wand Cricket Day was a great success! The sun shone for the first time in weeks and the cricket teams arrived at Chessington Cricket Club. Everyone took part in the raffle and auction to be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes and, after an amazing day of cricket the winners were the Merlin Thrillers! But the biggest success of the day was the fundraising total - we managed to raise over £24,000! Thanks to everyone that took part, volunteered and donated prizes, we really couldn’t do this without you!

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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: Zach Brumley Attraction: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Dallas & SEA LIFE Dallas Fort Worth Job Title: Admissions Supervisor What was the last event you organised for MMW? T-shirt fundraiser and MMW Days – Staff were given the opportunity to purchase MMW T-shirts which they will be allowed to wear on special days we are calling MMW Days. These days will help us spread the MMW message out to our guests and our community. Where is your favourite holiday destination? Any Zoo or Aquarium – I am fascinated by the plethora of creatures that fill the wilds of the world. I love learning about new creatures that I never knew existed. What is your top tip for fundraising? Dedication – Show your dedication to the cause and it will get others excited and dedicated as well. De scri be yourse lf i n 3 words: I am Batman! What are the bi gge st challe nge s you face whe n fundrai si ng? My biggest challenge is always wanting more. No matter how much I am able to say was raised, I always feel like I could have done more to make the amount raised higher.

Do you know who your Charity Champion is? Page 11


Merlin’s Magic Wand supports seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children by supplying tickets and travel grants to enable them to visit our attractions – however, some children are faced with conditions and circumstances that prevent them from making the trip. This is why we invest in Taking the Magic to the Children. Taking the Magic to the Children is a local outreach project designed to help attractions to build positive, long term relationships within their communities. We want to ensure that local children who are prevented from visiting our attractions due to severe illness, physical disability or other exceptional circumstances still have the opportunity to experience the unique magic of Merlin. We’re currently working on a project at Poole Hospital - the renovation of the Children’s A&E Waiting Room and a playroom at the Bright Beginnings Homeless Children’s Shelter in Washington DC. As you can see from the photos, they are in great need of some Merlin magic! If there is a local organisation or charity that you think would benefit from a Taking the Magic to the Children project, then please get in touch with Sarah Ford at Merlin’s Magic Wand. We’d love to get more projects started worldwide in 2013!

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The Magic Wand - July 2013