The ALS charity got a whole heap of cash by challenging people to tip a bucket of icy water over their heads. And KidsCan is hoping its challenge—getting people to don a Santa suit and do a short run—will too. So, to help bump up the numbers, DDB has laid down the gauntlet and challenged other ad agencies and corporates to get involved in the event.
On Wednesday, 3 December, people of all ages across 18 different locations will dress up in full Santa regalia and take part in the 2-3km fun run/walk, with funds raised going to help New Zealand children living in poverty. Last year’s event attracted over 4,000 participants and it's hoping to increase that to over 6,000 this year.
“I challenge every other ad agency, in fact every other corporate out there, to enter a team," says chief executive Justin Mowday. "We have over 30 people from DDB taking part and as the best agency in town, we’d happily take on anyone in a race to the finish line. Perhaps someone would like to make a small side wager (winner gifting to KidsCan of course!)? What could be more fun to kick off the festive season than a bunch of adults and kids running down the road wearing Santa suits? It’s only natural at Christmas that we should be thinking about disadvantaged Kiwi kids.”
Meridian chief executive Mark Binns has also issued a challenge to other corporates to get involved and register their teams. So far Wellington businesses pledging their support include Wellington Free Ambulance, NZ Post, Trade Me, Z Energy, Transpower, KPMG, Business NZ, Electricity Authority, Chorus, Wellington Electricity, Chapman Tripp, Russel McVeagh, the Sustainable Business Council and Business NZ.
“I’ve been challenging my colleagues to get out there and show what they can do,” says Binns. “The run is only 2km so it’s manageable for most people. It’ll hopefully be tough competition and a bit of fun. There are a number of people in the Meridian office keen to take me on and a good few businesses who are getting out there too."
Started in 2008 by Lactic Turkey Events, each entrant over the age of 13 receives a free Santa suit (under 13s get a Santa hat) and a voucher from The Athlete’s Foot as part of their entry fee. The Santa Run has grown from an Auckland-only event to an event across 18 regions nationwide with the introduction of two new venues this year: Invercargill and Wanaka. And it's a major fundraiser for KidsCan.
There are also prizes for best dressed at each location, so there are generally lots of elves, Rudolphs and other characters on the run. KidsCan says the Meridian Santa Wranglers were a big hit last year, and will be back again to help manage all the wayward Santas.
For more details, or to enter a team or individual, go to www.santarun.co.nz