On behalf of my three boys and myself I would like to pass on our thanks to everyone involved in the recent
Dreamnight at the Zoo event at Maru Koala Park. It has been our absolute pleasure to have been able to attend
for a number of years now, and as per usual it was a wonderful night which we all thoroughly enjoyed. This night
is an amazing opportunity for special needs families such as ours to access our local community, meet other
families and enjoy each other’s company. We really appreciate the work that goes on “behind the scenes” to
organise and run such an inclusive and “family friendly” event and above all, really value the fact that so many
people, Maru staff, local organisations and volunteers give up their time to ensure that our kids have a special, fun
filled night. It is the highlight of our (very restricted and limited!!!) social calendar and we look forward to it every
With many thanks,
Helen, Grahame, Mathew, Aaron and Josh
Comments from special Dreamnight guests at Toyama Municipal Familypark:
We listened to various animal interesting story from staff.
We saw animals to actively move around at evening than daytime.
We enjoyed take a walk at the evening,too.
I felt happy because I went to the zoo with my daughter first time
Thank you very much.
I was glad because I could be experience many more than last year.
I hope go to the zoo next year,too.
Reactions for the Budapest Zoo (Hungary):
“Congratulation for such a noble initiation worthy of the zoos’ reputation.” – Dr. Mihály Kökény, Minister of Health
“Thank you for the sime of the children!” – Katalin Lévai, Minister of Parity
“We would like to thank all the zoo-staff for this wonderful experience!” – family of 4
“It was a really exciting evening, especially the seelion-show. Thank you!” – Keglevich family (4)
“Thank you for this extraordinary adventure! It was a big fun for us, adults as well, but was much bigger for our children!” – family of 3
“Great that Hungary has joined this program, it was a really interesting, substantial evening!” – family of 3
“Very interesting and lots of fun! Thank you!” – 8-year-old boy
“It was gorgeous to be here, children and parents had fun together – there was no such an evening yet!” – Garaba family (4)
“This way I would like to thank you the Dreamnight at the Zoo program and the wonderful evening. Both the children and their parents had a very good time, all the programs were extremely welldone. Thank Mrs. Ilma Bogsch and all workers in the zoo, and I wish you could continue your work with as much enthusiasm, devotion and success as I saw this evening!” – Dr. György Harmat, Head of Madarász Children’s Hospital
It was a great pleasure for us in Budapest to organize our first Dreamnight, hopefully next year you will have more than two partners from Hungary! All of my colleagues had enjoyed that evening and would like to be here next time as well – and even more of them have great ideas what to do for giving more fun for our guests.
Thank you for all your help, and note you are always welcomed in Budapest Zoo!
Best regards, Bea
“Dream Night was wonderful – Thank you for a very special night.” ( Family of five.)
“I just want to reiterate just how grateful the families were for this opportunity. It was so wonderful, and so many of the families just wouldn’t be able to go to the Aquarium with the crowds often being what they are. Thank you and all your staff for this exciting evening! (Diane Hart, BC Children’s Hospital)
” So many of the families thanked me and were grateful for the opportunity to come to Dream Night. The thing that struck me the most was that for many of them, they wouldn’t attempt to take their child all their equipment, their wheelchairs, their suction, their ventilators etc. on a regular day to the Aquarium and be overwhelmed by trying to care for their children in the normally crowded environment . Sarah who is about 11 yrs. told her mom that what she really liked was having the opportunity to see all the displays and have her questions answered by the helpful volunteers. The evening had such a good feel to it, very special. ” (Joanne, Sunny Hill Health Centre)
“Dreamnight was such a great idea, awesome and so much fun for the kids. They are still talking about it. Such a change from the hospital. And the goody bags were a real surprise!” (Mother of 2 year old patient.)
“One parent said this was the first time in three months that her and her family had been together on an outing. The night was magical.” (Catia, BC Children’s Hospital).
Thanks to you, Dreamnight Foundation for encouraging zoos and aquariums like ours to bring the amazing world of animals and Nature to families who might otherwise not be able to enjoy this opportunity. We look forward to hosting Dreamnight again in 2004.
Posted: Friday June 20, 2003 [11:09:31 PST]
Last night at the Aquarium we held Dreamnight, a special evening where children with life threatening illnesses could join their families to meet an array of aquatic creatures up close. Kids came from BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre and Canuck Place. I stayed and volunteered for the evening with a bunch of my coworkers. It was really amazing seeing these kids get so excited, and to see the community pull together to donate stuff for the evening. I work with a lot of really good people, it makes all the difference. 🙂
Reaction for the Blank Park Zoo (U.S.A.):
Annette Bair from Mercy Hospital said, “(T)he event was such a great success…It is a wonderful opportunity for these special children to experience the joy of visiting the zoo. Thanks for your commitment to making the event such a meaningful one for the children. Mercy was honored to be a part of making it happen.”
Reactions for the Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park:
The children were very excited about holding snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and all the exciting animals and reptiles which were present. The handlers from Ray’s Reptiles and Jungle Cat World were fantastic, very informative and amusing as they tried to “out do” each other! The Super Dogs were fun for the kids to watch and the Ken Jen Petting Zoo is always a great experience for everyone as we all love to pet and interact with the animals. I would also like to congratulate the kids/adults who gave a superb martial arts demonstration. Thanks again Delena for all the work you dedicated to this project. This event really helped to brighten the lives of these courageous children.”-Cathy Diamond, Starlight Foundation
“It was not so much as to what was there, but to see the children and their families, from all walks of life with a common interest, to be able to be open up and enjoy the truly unique experience. To see a little girl be given the opportunity to be able to feel and experience texture of an Alligator, the handlers communicating all their knowledge to that child, almost made my heart explode out of my chest. Thank you for letting me be part of that special event.”-Selwyn Postan, Northern Karate School, Volunteer
Both my boys enjoyed the event, especially getting to be so close to the animals. My wife and I enjoyed the fact that we were able to visit the different stations freely after the presentation, which allowed us to go at our pace and to better meet the needs of our little guys. The staff of Jungle Cat World were great and made good connections with the visitors. I was impressed.”-Freddie, father.
Reactions for the Marwell Zoological Park
I was really impressed by the organisation of the event and range of activities on offer. for many of them, it was the first time in several months that they had been out together as a family and they appreciated being able to see the animals close up without having crowds of people around them. Winchester and East Leigh NHS Heathlthcare Trust
we all enjoyed ourselves in such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. please thank everyone for a wonderful evening. Jacqui, Steve, Matthew, Rebecca and Charlotte Home.
the children especially enjoyed feeding the giraffes and goats. a special thank you to the staff and volunteers who gave up their own time to make this a really special evening for so many children. Portsmouth City NHS Primary Care Trust
everybody had such a fantastic evening with an enormous positive response from all of our families who attended. Piam Brown Ward.
My son Liam, who is severely disabled, had a wonderful evening and we are so grateful to you and the staff, who were absolutely fantastic. Sarah, Den and Liam Barron
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in Dreamnight – undoubtedly a lot of children had a splendid evening out – it was a pleasure to be part of it. Simon Cole, Assistant Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary
the staff and volunteers could not have been any more cheerful, happy and helpful as well as informative about the animals they were caring for.Phil & Jo Hawkes, Rebecca, Christina, Andrew and Philippa
Reactions for the Magnetic Hill Zoo:
“I had no idea that this would be so much fun”
“ We have good days and we have bad days today was a wonderful day!”
“We had a great time thank you so much”
Reactions for Chester Zoo:
“I am writing to say a big THANK YOU to you all. It was a magical evening. Charlotte enjoyed every minute of the evening. She says the best bit was playing ‘finding nemo’ in the aquarium. She slept in ‘til ten on Saturday which is a rare occurrence, she is normally a 6 o’clocker” The Wharton family.
“Hello Folks! Had a great time on Friday, congratulations on a very successful evening. Every one had a great time, count me in next year!” Angela Powell, Accounts
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all at Chester Zoo for the wonderful evening you hosted last Friday. The two tour guides in our group were excellent and took us wherever anyone wanted to go. The whole evening was fantastic and we can see so many people who had put their own time and energy into making the evening work, I think it was great that families could probably see more and do more on an evening like this than if they had gone on a normal busy day with other members of the public.” Love Adam, Jessica, Tracy, Gary & Mum, The Mazan family
“Just wanted to say a BIG thank you to you all for organising the Dreamnight evening on Friday, I thought it was a great success and everyone including the staff seemed to be having a great time!” Kristine Beaumount, Marketing
“I would like to say an especially BIG thank you to our guides for the night. Nothing was too much trouble for either of them and they both made us feel welcome and relaxed and were really good with the children. You thought of everything and it was great to have the zoo to ourselves, no hustling and bustling through hundreds of people with a wheelchair. Nobody staring at your ‘different’ child, because everyone was in similar circumstances.” The Randles family
“None of this would have been possible without the good will of the staff – what a team effort. Everybody pulled together to make this a memorable evening not just for the families but also for staff – many wondered if they could cope – they did – it was a wonderful sight seeing a swath of green on its way to the main entrance to meet and greet their families – we even had a few extra tigers for the night!” Christine Capner, Staff Association
“Katie enjoyed everything. She was thrilled to see so many animals so close up. I can’t thank everyone enough for such a wonderful night. It was a very special night just like our daughter Katie is very special.” The Gerrard family
Thank you for organising such a great event at the zoo – It was amazing that so many people helped and made a huge effort for us. Uma was not in great form as having a reaction to mosquito bites from that afternoon before the zoo which we discovered later. However her leopard is treasured and goes with her to bed and kindy and her friends’ houses. She has also talked about the trip to the zoo lots so despite her grumpiness at the event, it did make an impact.
We did really appreciate you inviting us and its the first event we have been to. Its always interesting to see what is going on at the zoo. We saw much more activity than during a daytime session and the leopard cubs were the highlight.
Stephanie & family
Thanks for this night out. Dan loved it and racing around. It was great to see others and to see the Zoo. I loved watching the bears playing. The face painters were fantastic and I had trouble getting him to wash his face he was so excited and loved it so much! Thanks for the great way you did tea, and the ice-creams were – well we thought maybe an ice-block so it was a very nice surprise and they were so yummy! Really enjoyed the entertainment that finished the evening off really well – although it was late for us as we came from the Wairarapa but it was well worth it! Thank so much to everyone at the Zoo for all your hard work.
Rachel & family.
Thank you for having us for the evening. Crystal enjoyed the evening very much. It is years since we have been to the zoo as I don’t drive so some family brought us. Thank you for providing tea. Crystal enjoyed stroking Jake.
Thanks for the great night out. Jack has loved it and it is so good to come and do something together. This has been a great night out and thanks for the lovely gifts. The posters are on the wall of Jack’s room! Everything was just great.
(Their eldest daughter died 5 years ago)
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