On the 2nd of April 2021 the sun shone on Good Friday once again as the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal celebrated its 90th anniversary. The warm weather reflected the mood of UBC members and volunteers returning to many of their regular fundraisers after reduced activity in 2020.
Excitement had been building with events in the lead-up to the day, including Good Friday Appeal raffles at our branches and groups around the state, as well as closer to head office when our volunteers had too much fun selling raffle tickets at LaManna Supermarket in Essendon Fields.
Following months of careful planning – even more so than usual, safety briefings and a steady supply of hand sanitiser, masks, and anti-bacterial wipes ensured our volunteers were ready for COVID-normal fundraising.
2020 required us all to adapt, leading the appeal to introduce a Virtual Tin Shake when we couldn’t shake tins in person. The Virtual Tin Shake returned this year for online donations, bringing in a respectable $1,294.
The Club also used a Donation Tap Point machine to take contactless card donations of $5 at our Jackson Court collection and Kidz Spectacular prior to the day.
With no Kids Day Out at MCEC this year, Maureen Kear, Kelli Brogan, Ellicia Lyall and the team adapted to stage the 9th Kidz Spectacular at Killara Primary School in Sunbury. Hosted by Leigh Johnson and Kelli Brogan, there was no shortage of talented performers from the likes of DanceSpace Sunbury, Killara Aerobics Team, Killara Choir, Wellbeing Martial Arts, Adam Przewlocki and Antsfusion Kids, and STARZ Performing Arts. Alongside the performances, face painting was popular and hungry crowds kept the team hard at work on the barbecue.
It was fantastic to see new volunteers joining us in the counting room and on the corners, as well as having existing volunteers step up to become the corner captains who are so integral to our collection activities.
Not long after the doors opened at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Good Friday, the counting room was abuzz once more with the sound of clattering coins and volunteers thrilled to be back counting donations with their families and friends.
Branches and Groups were also busily collecting towards some great totals, including Nathalia with $14,084.20, St Arnaud raising $1,104.50, Bendigo with $40,988.90, West Gippsland with $9,732, and Wonthaggi raising over $6,000.
Our Peninsula Group had beautiful weather for their annual Wheelbarrow Push, which returned to the road from Sorrento to Safety Beach after being virtual last year for our Local Giving for Local Health campaign. As always, the Wheelbarrow Push was made possible with the support of Altus Traffic, and the Peninsula Group raised over $64,500.
Volunteers from the CFA were once again on hand to join us on the corners, and Freemasons Victoria volunteers were fundraising with us at 7-Eleven stores. Freemasons Grand Master Richard Elkington also joined President Paul Etherington and Director Jacquie Priest for the cheque presentation at the end of the night.
And it was with a sense of pride that we presented the final amount of $250,079. It reinforced the feeling of being back on track after overcoming the challenges of the past year and contributed to the overall total of $17,122,879 that the Good Friday Appeal presented to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
UBC Media Coordinator