Across the weekend of November 10 & 11, The people of Western Australia raised a record breaking $16,805,622 for Telethon. Beating 2011’s record $13.4m, this took the total raised by Telethon since 1968 to $133 million.
Headline performances from Sir Elton John performing on the opening night at the Perth Arena and a host of Australian entertainers got big crowds at the Perth Entertainment and Convention Centre up on their feet, while the gorgeous Telethon children, Sophie Read and Conor Brown charmed audiences everywhere.
A huge line-up of Seven Network talent flew in from around Australia including Ed Halmagyi and Rob Palmer from Better Homes and Gardens; Joshua Horner, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Carmelo Pizzino from Dancing with the Stars; Dan Ewing (Heath Braxton), Rhiannon Fish (April Scott), Marcus Graham (Harvey Ryan), Catherine Mack (Natalie Davison), Lynne McGranger (Irene Roberts), Emily Symons (Marilyn Chambers), Demi Harman (Sasha Bezmel) and Nic Westaway (Kyle) from Home and Away; Brynne Edelsten from My Bedazzled Life; Jacob Allan (Matt Jennings), Zoe Cramond (Emma Mackey); Merridy Eastman (Donna Mackey), George Houvardas (Nick Karadonis), Hannah Marshall (Loretta Schembri), Angus McLaren (Nathan Rafter) and new comer for 2013, Ben Mingay from Packed to the Rafters; Candice Dixon from Saturday Disney; Natalie Barr, Melissa Doyle, David Koch, Mark Beretta, Molly Meldrum and Grant Denyer from Sunrise; Melissa Bergland (Jenny Gross), Damien Bodie (Jonathan Kurtiss), Virginia Gay (Frances James), Sarah Grace (Bridget Gross), Paul Moore (Wes Fitzpatrick), Jack Pearson (Patrick Gross), Mike Smith (Callum Gilbert), Tom Hobbs (Flynn Johnson) and Tom Wren (Doug Graham) from Winners and Losers and John Deeks.
Contestants from Seven’s shows this year also came along and included Andrew Paton and Emma Donnelly from My Kitchen Rules; Courtney Sander from Beauty and the Geek, Teresa Italiano and Sue Bumbak from The Amazing Race Australia and Justine Matchitt and Adelaide winner, Leigh Sexton from My Kitchen Rules.
They were joined by our very own Seven Perth stars – David Cooper, Geof Parry, Adrian Barich, Rick Ardon, Susannah Carr, Basil Zempilas, Alexis Donkin, Ryan Daniels, Jessica Vanderende, Kate Smithers, Chris Young, Emmy Kubainski, Natalia Cooper and Today Tonight’s Monika Kos, Mark Gibson, Graeme Butler, Alison Fan, Natalie Bonjolo, Cassie Silver and Tina Altieri.
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 Divalicious, Justice Crew, Reece Mastin, Evermore, Andrew De Silva, Adam Brand, 2 x Cellos, Ben Price, Daryl Braithwaite, The Fairies, Cosentino, Johnny Ruffo, Soul Mystique, Mark Vincent and Adam and Selena Murby.
There were plenty of major donations from the big end of town, but as always the it was the generosity of the people of Perth that shone through the most in the huge 2012 total of $16,805,622 raised over the weekend compared to last year’s $13,473,159 and brings the total raised since 1968 to $133,805,622.
The first donation came from Prime Minister, Julia Gillard who said the one constant in Telethon over the years was the generosity of Western Australians and announced a Federal Government donation of $1.5 million.
Premier Colin Barnett handed over a cheque for $500,000 from the State Government on behalf of all West Australians and said the Government would contribute $1million to a new Telethon/New Children’s Hospital Research Fund, which would be dollar-matched by Telethon.
Party goers at The Lexus Ball raised an unbelievable $408,907.
But the weekend belonged to the 2012 Little Telethon stars – Sophie Read from Bunbury and Conor Brown from Atwell, who stole the audiences hearts.
This year Sophie and Conor designed a pendant with Perth jeweller, Solid Gold.
At the Lexus Ball, The Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency Mr Malcolm McCusker paid $60,000 for Sophie and Conor’s stunning piece of jewellery. In an amazing display of generosity he donated the pendant to Sophie.
On Saturday evening Sir Elton John gave a shout out to all West Australians watching the show encouraging everyone to donate. He then performed Philadelphia Freedom and Candle in the Wind.
As a Telethon first the Social Media Café saw many celebrities wander in to to join the Twitter and Facebook feeds and interact live with fans. A mystery donor said they would donate $1 per tweet for Telethon over the 26 hours. Later it was revealed the generous mystery donor was The McCusker Charitable Foundation and it would increase the amount to $1 million.
The 2012 Telethon Home by In-Vogue and Australand in Port Coogee sold for an all-time record of $1.2 million prior to auction.
This year Crown Perth came on board again as a sponsor of In It To Win It where personalities participated in a series of challenges which saw CEO Barry Felstead hand over a cheque for $1 million.
To cap off another successful Telethon weekend, Executive Chairman of Seven West Media, Mr Kerry Stokes generously contributed $1 million on behalf of Australian Capital Equity and he also announced a $50,000 education fund for Little Telethon Star Conor Brown.
Over the weekend Matt Fuller of Fuller Fitness did a 24 hour non-stop physical feat on the ergo grinder at the highest level – level 20. On completion a massive $40,000 was donated by Peard Real Estate.
Other significant donations included:
It was not only the corporate sector donating generously, people from WA were equally giving.
In July six-year-old Scott Guerini battled the rain and cold weather on a 25kms walk to raise $12,591.80. It is the third year in a row that Scott has completed the fundraising walk from his family’s farm to the Southern Cross Oval.
Andrew Macri raised more than $20,000 from two Golfathon days and The Metrochurch in Northbridge raised more than $20,000 with their Just Worship event.
Telethon General Manager, Steve Mummery was blown away by the staggering amount raised over the weekend.
“In this tough economic climate that many West Australians are stuggling with, the generosity they have given Telethon this weekend, demonstrates the love they have for WA’s favourite charity,” he said.