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Archive for '2013'

StarJam Founder Hands over Reins to Successor

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

StarJam – a Kiwi success story hands over the reins.

With the organisation on a high, StarJam’s departing CEO and Founder, Julie Bartlett says handing over the reins couldn’t be timed better.

“Eleven years ago, I had a vision – that StarJam could change people’s perceptions about Kiwi kids with disabilities.  I wanted everyone to see their potential.”

Started in Bartlett’s spare bedroom in November 2002 StarJam now runs 30 performance programmes in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch for young people with disabilities (known as Jammers). Dozens of stage productions, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of Jammers later, StarJam’s success is obvious.

“We’ve got Jammers, ex-Jammers turned tutors and JamBassadors on TV, and winning awards – it’s deeply gratifying, and a signal that the community is grown up and ready to hand on,” says Bartlett.

Fans of the show New Zealand’s Got Talent will have seen ex-Jammer; JamBassador and workshop tutor Renee Maurice singing in the finals.

Through StarJam’s programme Jammers become empowered, often going on to become leaders themselves.

Bartlett points to other success stories. Jammers Mary Fisher and Olivia Shivas who is also a JamBassador and another Jammer turned JamBassador and tutor Loren Corbett, all of whom are finalists in the TVNZ Attitude Awards.

Loren Corbett says” I would be a totally different person if Julie Bartlett had not put her life aside to ensure so many young New Zealanders with disabilities experience the joy, love and acceptance they deserve.”

Incoming CEO Mary Ansell says it is success stories like these that drive her.

“Julie’s work here has been wonderful. This is just something we see every day at StarJam – kids blossom.”

Ansell feels “deeply honoured” to be chosen as Bartlett’s successor and is inspired to carry on the good work.

“I feel lucky to be part of helping Jammers reach their potential. It’s not just about the kids who go on to win awards – there are small, wonderful triumphs that happen all the time”.

Ansell dreams of reducing the waiting lists by establishing more programmes throughout New Zealand.  She will use her experience in corporate leadership roles and in her own business.

Ansell’s personal connection to Kiwi kids with disabilities makes this new role even more gratifying. Her dearly loved nephew was born with spina bifida, and died at age 19.

“Benn was a larger than life. His positive attitude to life always encouraged me,” Ansell declares. “He would have loved StarJam.”

 

ENDS

 

Julie Bartlett, Mary Ansell, Renee Maurice, Olivia Shivas, Loren Corbett and Mary Fisher are available for comment.

 

For more information, images or interviews please contact:

Julie Bartlett, 09 523 3500,  021 782 752, julie@starjam.org or

Mary Ansell 021 1988000  mary@starjam.org

 

Posted in: 2013, In the Media

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Beyonce Jammed

Beyonce generously gave her time to enjoy the company of Jammers; Hannah, Jaimee, Olivia, Moana and Hasini before going on stage on Friday 18th October in Auckland.  StarJam Founder Julie Bartlett loved seeing this jam of all jams; where the Jammers were completely themselves in Beyonce’s gorgeous company. Beyonce Meets Jammers before going on stage

Posted in: 2013, StarJam News

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Jammers In One Direction

Excitement was at fever pitch when four lucky Jammers plus two support crew found out they had received special admission to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – to attend the Sound Check Party with One Direction prior to their concert in Christchurch on 10th October.  At StarJam we are always delighted when celebrities give their time or special opportunities for Jammer involvement.  This was especially wonderful because it took place in beloved Christchurch and for “Directioners” it doesn’t get better than this.

Posted in: 2013, StarJam News

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StarJam Founder Amongst 50 Top Influencers

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday 30th September 2013

 

 

STARJAM FOUNDER AMONGST 50 TOP INFLUENCERS 

StarJam CEO and Founder Julie Bartlett has been named a finalist in the inaugural Women of Influence Awards. The Women of Influence awards were established by Fairfax Media and Westpac to recognise the achievements being made by women across society and were first run in Australia last year.  Finalists were announced on 29th September and winners will be announced on 23rd October.

“I am absolutely delighted to learn that my contribution through StarJam is ranked along with some of New Zealand’s most high profile women; it is a great honour,” said Bartlett when hearing the news.

Bartlett received a NZ Order of Merit in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours, to acknowledge the significant impact that StarJam has made of thousands of lives nationwide over the past decade.

Inspired by her brother who had Down Syndrome, Bartlett created a platform where young people with disabilities and celebrities shared the same stage. In professional stage shows, StarJam’s young people are given lead roles and celebrities often supporting ones.

Bartlett, who is stepping aside from the day to day CEO duties in November after 11 years at the helm will take up the role of Patron.   The new CEO for StarJam will be formally announced in mid October.

For more information, images or interviews please contact: Julie Bartlett, 09 523 3500,   021 782 752, julie@starjam.org.

 

About StarJam – www.starjam.org

 

StarJam is a super-charity which creates national and international limelight opportunities for young people with disabilities. Known as “Jammers”, StarJam kids gain respect, confidence, empowerment, new friends, new hope and new purpose within a fun and inclusive atmosphere. Our belief is that “wildly positive change” affects not just them and their families but their peer groups and the wider community in their perception of kids with disabilities. There are 30 performance workshop programmes spread throughout Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch each week in song, dance, drumming and guitar. StarJam has been acknowledged in fifteen different awards programmes since 2007. www.starjam.org

Posted in: 2013, Press Releases

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Renee Maurice on NZ’s Got Talent

Have you heard all the chatter this week about the phenomenal performance by Renee Maurice, on NZ’s Got Talent last Sunday on TVNZ. Renee  is both a StarJam JamBassador and one of our wonderful tutors; and lovingly leads the Jammers in the Sensational Singing @ Hutt workshop. Keep watching the tellie to see how she wows everyone. I’m sure you’ll be cheering for her, too. Go Renee, we are so proud of you.

Posted in: 2013, StarJam News

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List of Donors to the SAVE STARJAM Campaign on Indiegogo

On behalf of Olivia and all the Jammers, thank you so much for making a donation to the Save StarJam campaign.

Tonia and Lily Cawood
Nigel Shivas
Srikantha Robinson
Josh Wong
Rampworx Ltd
Margaret Methven
Stephanie_Counts
Jo Cowie
Carole Parr
Pam French
Julia Smith
Jodi, Regan and Ayda
Jane Mark
Heather Brown
Baruch Ter Wal
Leila Corban
Sarah McIntyre
Michelle Buchanan
Olwyn Coe
Ben Watson
Caroline Ward
Susie Higley
Jade Weatherall
Reuben Metcalfe
Baz Caitcheon
Heike Warda
Elizabeth Nicholls
Maree Hobern
Chris, Tabbi, Jonathan and Zacky

 

So many of you wonderful people who have donated have chosen to be anonymous so this list is sending thanks to you as well.

Posted in: 2013, StarJam News

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Award-winning Kiwi charity launches international crowd funding campaign

 

MEDIA RELEASE

5 August 2013

$100K Needed to Save the Day

Award-winning Kiwi charity launches international crowd funding campaign

Award-winning charity StarJam is looking to the web to raise urgently needed funds to help it out of a financial squeeze. The Kiwi charity that empowers young people with disabilities is launching a campaign to raise $100,000 through international crowd funding website Indiegogo.

The two-minute video featuring Simon Dallow and 20 of StarJam’s children will spearhead the campaign which will launch on Monday 5th August and run for a month.

Celebrating its 10th birthday last year, StarJam has changed the lives of thousands of young people with disabilities over this time, with 300 disabled children and young people (known as Jammers) currently involved in weekly performance workshops in singing, dancing, guitar and drumming across four centres, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

However funding cuts and increasing demand for the charity dollar have left StarJam a $100,000 short this year and in need of additional funds.

StarJam founder and CEO Julie Bartlett, recipient of countless awards including NEXT’s Woman of the Year for 2012, says we believe people will want to help out if they understand that we are living hand to mouth.  We need to provide certainty for our children and their families.

“People often think StarJam has good financial reserves – the sparkly hats (from the $2 shop), the celebrity involvement, the impressive stage productions, all create this misconception. The truth is we rely entirely on the generosity of funding bodies and people who love what we do.

“We currently have places for 300 young people involved in our weekly programmes, at a cost of about $2,000 each per year. This goes towards things like venue hire, reimbursing volunteer expenses, training for tutors and volunteers and purchasing musical instruments.  And the programmes’ waiting lists get growing.

“If we reach $100,000, we can keep operating at our current levels. Without it we cannot guarantee our programmes will continue into 2014.  

Over the years StarJam has enlisted the involvement of international and local celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Eva Longoria, Tom Cruise, Coldplay, Rachel Hunter and Sir Peter Jackson.

Julie says 15 celebrities including Sir Graham Henry, Simon Dallow and Shane Cortese, Greg Murphy, Kate Hawkesby and Michael Galvin have lent their support to the campaign, offering ‘perks’ for larger donations.

A $25 donation will pay for Jammer’s starter pack with the donor being acknowledged on StarJam’s website and Facebook.   A $2,000 donation will fund one lucky Jammer through a whole year, with the donor receiving a personalized thank you video from one of the celebrities supporting the campaign.  While a $20,000 donation helps 10 lucky Jammers for a year and gets the donor ten personalized thank you videos from the campaign’s celebrity list.

Julie says the charity is in the process of setting up new fundraising programmes which will in time yield financial stability.  “Our families can’t imagine what life would be like without StarJam in their children’s lives. It means so much to them when their children find friends, often for the first time, and a new-found confidence from being in the performance programmes. They definitely don’t want that to stop.”

For more info:

«     The Save StarJam Campaign info is here on Indiegogo (frequently updated)

«     Here is a two minute showreel

«     A StarJam flashmob viewed by 70,000

«     Queen of Hearts is a song written and sung by 11 Jammers

«     Here is a 6 min showreel about a road tour in USA with clips of Tom Cruise, Danny DeVito and Julie Andrews.

 

Ends –

 For more information, images or interviews please contact:

Julie Bartlett, 09 523 3500,   021 782 752, julie@starjam.org

StarJam is a charity which creates national and international limelight opportunities for young people with disabilities. Known as “Jammers”, StarJam kids gain respect, confidence, empowerment, new friends, new hope and new purpose within a fun and inclusive atmosphere. Our belief is that “wildly positive change” affects not just them and their families but their peer groups and the wider community in their perception of kids with disabilities. There are 30 performance workshop programmes spread throughout Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch each week in song, dance, drumming and guitar. StarJam has been acknowledged in fifteen different awards programmes since 2007.

 

Posted in: 2013, In the Media, StarJam News

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Save StarJam Campaign

The clock is ticking down to the launch of the Save StarJam Campaign.   Monday 5th August is the big day.  Watch out for the list of wonderful people who are supporting our Jammers and keeping their dreams alive.  Help us celebrate and thank them and the celebrities who are providing “perks”.   If that interests you, keep your eye open for what is about to unfold.   Thank you.

Posted in: 2013, StarJam News

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