HWT Good Friday Appeal raises record $16m

The annual Good Friday Appeal, run by the Herald & Weekly Times in partnership with Channel Seven and 3AW, has raised a record of more than $16 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Over 83 years, the appeal has raised a total of $274 million for the hospital.

Penny Fowler, chairman of both the Herald & Weekly Times and the Good Friday Appeal boards, said the appeal was part of the fabric of HWT. “It is a truly community driven appeal,” Ms Fowler said.

“It is incredible to witness the generosity of the Victorian community who support our world-class Royal Children’s Hospital in so many ways – from Darrell Benjamin who has spent 35 years raising money in Moe and hit his $1 million target this year, to a group of students from a local school who walked 50km and raised $63,500.”

The appeal includes a telethon, which airs on Seven, along with the Kids Day Out and celebrity concert, which moved from Etihad Stadium to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to allow for a much larger crowd and children’s activities.

X-Factor winner Taylor Henderson, boy band The Collective, stars from Home and Away, actress Rebecca Gibney, comedian Dave Hughes and Sesame Street’s Agro all joined in this year’s event.

Executive director of the Good Friday Appeal, Deborah Hallmark, said more than 60,000 attended the event. “Everywhere you looked in this huge venue, it was a sea of faces,” she said.

Ms Fowler’s grandfather, Sir Keith Murdoch, helped begin the campaign in 1931 with a group of sportsmen and HWT journalists, who organised a sporting carnival in aid of the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Ms Fowler said her grandparents would have been thrilled.

“Many of our staff work throughout the year to make the appeal a huge success and then, each Good Friday, even more of our colleagues volunteer to assist on this very important day,” she said.

“My thanks go to each and every one of them.”

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