The people and companies of Western Australia yet again opened their wallets to generously bring the total raised over the 2011 Telethon weekend to $13,473,159. This surpasses last year’s amazing total of $10 million and brings the total since 1968 to $117,254,379.

The weekend wouldn’t have been complete without the 2011 Little Telethon stars – Savanna Addis from Kunanurra and Ben Popham from Marmion

The donations came in quickly and at 9pm on Saturday, the total was close to $3.5 million.

The first donation came from Prime Minister, Julia Gillard who asked people to dig deep and announced a Federal Government donation of $1.5 million.

Party goers at The Lexus Ball raised $275,000.

At the Lexus Ball, Prominent Perth businessman David Aspinall paid $60,000 for a stunning piece of jewellery inspired by Savanna and Ben’s drawings with rare Argyle Pink diamonds, champagne and white diamonds and designed with Perth Jeweller Solid Gold. Also at the Lexus Ball, John Hughes paid $30,000 for an opportunity to play golf with with golfing master Tiger Woods in the James Packer Golf Invitational on Saturday November 5 at Burswood, in a priceless prize donated by Burswood Entertainment Complex, along with accomodation and dinner at Nobu and Rockpool Bar and Grill.

The Governor of Western Australia presented Channel Seven newsreader, Rick Ardon with an envelope and asked him to open it after he and his family had left the stage – there was a cheque for a staggering amount of $1 million from the McCusker Charitable Foundation.

The 2011 Capricorn Telethon Home by In-Vogue in Yanchep raised $560,000 and Julian Walter from JWH Group presented the cheque from the sale of the 2011 Telethon Regional Home at Oyster Harbour by W.A.Country Builders Albany for $465,000.

Burswood Entertainment Complex came on board again as a sponsor of A Minute to Win It, giving $50,000 for each task completed in under 60 seconds. Better Homes and Gardens chippie and Dancing with the Stars winner, Rob Palmer was chosen to complete the 10th task for $100,000. In a very tense last game Palmer did his best, but it was not to be – and so Burswood CEO Barry Felstead said if there was time to fit it in to the remaining time of the show – he would double the amount of $500,000 if George Houvardas completed another task. The segment was jammed in at the eleventh hour. George completed the game and the Burswood Entertainment Complex handed over a cheque for $1 million.

This year as well as raising $30,000, the Brownes Fitness Challenge got people moving and broke the Guinness World Records Largest Zumba Class Attempt. The most recent Guinness World Record was set in Brownsville Texas with 1,223 dancers and the Telethon event saw 1401 people move their bodies led by Nathan Morris from Nova 93.7, Tracy, Anne-Marie, Sam and Renae from The Amazing Race Australia; Luda Kroitor from Dancing with the Stars and Zumba Instructor Angelina Stojic.

To cap off another successful Telethon weekend, Executive Chairman of the Seven Group Holdings, Mr Kerry Stokes generously contributed $1 million on behalf of Australian Capital Equity and on behalf of the Stokes family a further $500,000 was donated.

But the Telethon Adventurers also contributed over $1 million as a result of their different Adventures that they covered acorss 2011, like The Climb for Elliot, which saw members climb Europe’s highest mountain Mont Blanc. The Tour For A cure whihc saw Adventurers ride motorcycles across the United States, Victoria O’Neill’s Jump For A Cure saw 38 people jump out of a plane. The Ride For Elliot saw 10 riders ride from Esperence to Perth over 7 days. Plus many others.

Other significant donations included:

  • Prominent WA businessman Tim Roberts texted in from the US personally donating $250,000 from his family
  • BHP Biliton Iron Ore generously gave a cheque for $128,000.
  • Radio station 92.9’s Kids Appeal for Telethon raised $159, 626 during the year.
  • The West Australian kindly donated $100,000 and The West Australian Regional Newspaper Group presented a cheque for $60,000.
  • $119,000 was raised at a Sunday lunch at Leeuwin hosted by Denis Horgan and his wife Trisha.
  • The Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett donated $350,000 from the State Government – or from every person in the State as Mr Barnett said as he presented the cheque.

Again this year, an anonymous donor pledged to match dollar for dollar every donation that came through the phone room until the close of the event. The donor pledged up to $1 million and said that they have been overwhelmed by the generous spirit and support of Telethon from mums, dads, children and every corner of the community – and while $912,000 was raised from the public and matched by the generous family – they made up the difference to donate $1 million.

It was not only the corporate sector donating generously, people from WA were equally giving – Andrew Macri raised $31,088 from a golfathon day and David Shortie and the team at 6PR Racing Radio donated $13,637 from their footy tipping contest.

A huge line-up of Seven Network talent flew in from around Australia including:

  • HOME AND AWAY: Lynne McGranger (Irene Roberts); Lincoln Younes (Casey Braxton); Esther Anderson (Charlie Buckton); David Jones-Roberts (Xavier Austin); Samara Weaving (Indigo Walker); Steve Peacocke (Darryl ‘Brax’ Braxton); Lisa Gormley (Bianca Scott); Marcus Graham (Harvey Ryan) and Charles Cottier (Dexter Walker).
  • SUNRISE: Melissa Doyle; Natalie Barr, Molly Meldrum and Mark Beretta.
  • DANCING WITH THE STARS: Carmelo Pizzino; Luda Kroitor and Alana Patience.
  • WINNERS & LOSERS: Melanie Vallejo (Sophie Wong); Zoe Tuckwell-Smith (Rebecca Gilbert); Melissa Bergland (Jenny Gross); Paul Moore (Wes Fitzpatrick); Sarah Grace (Bridget Gross) and Blair McDonough (Matt O’Connor).
  • PACKED TO THE RAFTERS: George Houvardas (Nick “Carbo” Karadonis); Hugh Sheridan (Ben Rafter); Hannah Marshall (Loretta Schembri); Ryan Corr (Coby Jennings) and Zoe Crammond (Emma Mackey).
  • THE X FACTOR – Luke Jacobz.

And from Hollywood – Booboo Stewart who plays Seth Clearwater in The Twilight Saga films and soon to be seen in White Frog playing Nick Young.

They were joined by our very own Seven Perth stars – Rick Ardon, Susannah Carr, Basil Zempilas, Natalia Cooper, Emmy Kubainski, Sally Bowrey, Adrian Barich, Tina Altieri and Today Tonight’s Monika Kos.

Local TV celebrities included Sam, Renae, Tracy and Anne-Marie from The Amazing Race Australia and Daniela and Stefania from My Kitchen Rules.Plus many of Perth’s radio personalities from Mix 94.5, 92.9, Nova 937, 6PR, ABC720, 96fm and 6iX.

The crowd was entertained by an incredible array of talented performers such as David Campbell & his Band; Def Leppard; Emmanuel; Justice Crew; Shannon Noll; The Potbelleez; Marvin Priest; Jon Stevens; The Ten Tenors; Timomatic; Jack Vidgen; Mark Vincent and Stan Walker.