The people of WA dug deep over Telethon weekend to raise $10 million more than last year in a stellar effort that went against the current economic climate to celebrate Telethon’s 50th milestone.
The $36,431,381 raised over Telethon Weekend will be spread back into the WA community over the next twelve months to support crucial child health research, provide much needed medical equipment, and drive social welfare programs.
Telethon 2017 kicked off Saturday October 21 to a sold out audience at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in the heart of Perth, with thousands watching the live broadcast in Perth on Channel 7 and GWN7 around the state.
Samantha Jade, Daryl Braithwaite, Pete Murray & Leo Sayer were among the stars who entertained, plus Ross Wilson came from the Lexus Ball to give a surprise performance on tv. Money raised from the Lexus Ball came to $1.68 million. Fisher Boys, Casey Barnes and Liam Burrows also sang across the weekend.
Little Telethon Stars, 7 year old Maddox Ball and 9 year old Olivia Riley stole our hearts as the two ambassadors chosen to represent the kids of WA as the 2017 Little Telethon Stars.
The marathon 26 hour TV broadcast went live across Channel 7 Perth and across W.A. on GWN7. Plus it was streamed nationally via the telethon7.com, perthnow.com.au and thewest.com.au websites.
The team at Channel 7 Perth and The West Australian led an army of volunteers, plus more than 250 TV production crew, 600 entertainers and 1,000 volunteers to make this Telethon weekend the most successful ever.
There were plenty of major donations from Telethon’s famous Million Dollar Partners, but as always it was the generosity of the people of Western Australia that shone through raising a record breaking amount.
The Prime Minister was on hand to hand over a massive $2 million to Telethon to commemorate the 50th Telethon! The Prime Minister also committed $13 million over the next decade to co fund the “Origins Project” that is being conducted at Joondalup Health Campus in partnership with Telethon Kids Institute. Paul Ramsay Foundation also committed $13 million to fund this project over the next decade. BHP Billiton once again donated $4 million dollars as part of their $20 million five year commitment. Wesfarmers upped their donation from last year to $1.5m for the next few years. Another surprise was Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation contributing $3 million.
Premier Mark McGowan pledged $3 million from the State Government on behalf of all West Australians. $2 million of this will be set aside in the Telethon Perth Children’s Hospital Child Health Research Fund which Telethon will match so that $4 million can be granted over the next 12 months to help researchers in this state carry out research into children’s diseases. Perth businessman, Tim Roberts generously donated $1.5 million this year. Malcolm, Tonya and Carolyn McCusker generously donated $1.9 million from the McCusker Charitable Foundation throughout the course of the weekend. Bill Beament donated $250,000 + a magnificent gold bullion bar which was auctioned at The Lexus Ball on behalf of Northern Star Resources and was bought for $75,000.
For the 6th year Hawaiian Property Group held The Rob Broadfield Dinner at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa in Broome that raised $500,000.
Other large donations throughout the year included;
Telethon Community Cinemas – $639,597; Perth Airport – $110,000; and Bankwest – $100,000;
Ex-rugby player, Matt Fuller, UFC champion Soa “The Hulk” and Chef Josh Catalano spent months preparing for a 24 hour challenge that saw them conduct a non stop spin class for 24 hours straight across the weekend at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Peard Real Estate donating $50,000 towards their efforts, and an additional $100,000 in fundraising.
In the closing stages of the broadcast, Executive Chairman of Seven Group Holdings and Chairman of the Channel 7 Telethon Trust, Mr Kerry Stokes AC made a generous $2 million donation on behalf of his private company Australian Capital Equity.
Telethon CEO, Steve Mummery was ecstatic with the result from the weekend.
“It’s an exciting year with Telethon holding it’s 50th Telethon and even though WA continues through tough economic times the community have dug deep again for Telethon. Once again, my thanks go out to all of the mums and dads and their kids, who have helped raise money for Telethon over the past 12 months.” he said.
Benson Jack Anthony from 800 Words; Lynne McGranger, James Stewart, Jackson Heywood, Rohan Nichol, Sophie Dillman, Kestie Morassi, Jake Ryan, Olivia Deeble, Anna Cocquerel and Scott Lee from Home And Away; Rachel Gordon, Jordan Hare and JR Reyne from The Secret Daughter; Lincoln Lewis, David Oldfield, Debra Lawrance and Sam Frost from Hell’s Kitchen; Wendy Moore, Drew Heath and Perth twins Andrew and Jono King from House Rules; Melissa Doyle, Alex Cullen, Denham Hitchcock, Steve Pennells and Matt Doran from Sunday Night; Issa Schultz, Matt Parkinson and Brydon Coverdale from The Chase Australia; Sam Lane, Sam McClure and Nathan Templeton from Seven Sport; Karen Ledbury from The Morning Show and Sarah Cumming from The Daily Edition; Perth team Bek and Ash from MKR; Michael Usher from Seven News; Peter Ford, Seven Entertainment Reporter; Rachel Watts and Lorinska Merrington from Yummy Mummies and Candice Dixon from Flushed.
They were joined by 7’s Perth favourites Rick Ardon, Susannah Carr, Basil Zempilas, Sam Jolly, Matt Tinney and Adrian Barich, plus many more from 7 News as well as Today Tonight’s Monika Kos, Mark Gibson, Graeme Butler, Cassie Silver, Mark Readings and Syan Dougherty. Plus, many of Perth’s radio personalities from Mix 94.5, hit 92.9, Nova 93.7, 6PR and 6iX.
Social media again played a huge role in connecting celebrities with their fans across the Telethon weekend, with loads of personalities taking to the Telethon Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds to interact live as the action unfolded. This year #telethon7 also had massive support from around the world.
Since 1968, the people of Western Australia have donated over $268 million to Telethon.