Rebecca Cowan, Penny Fowler and Peter Mitchell with Malu

Appeal shows virtual heart

The 90th Good Friday Appeal has been launched and virtual tin shakes and online fundraisers will remain a core part of this year's campaign.

Just as The Royal Children’s Hospital must keep with the latest and most innovative ways of getting things done, so too must its fundraising arm.

Virtual tin shakes and online fundraisers will remain a core part of this year’s 90th Good Friday Appeal, after covid restrictions last year forced the cancellation of its major fundraising events.

Chairman of the GFA board, Penny Fowler said while the appeal was forced to “pivot” last year, the generosity of Victorians and State Government, plus the backing of more than 100,000 volunteers, saw it reach another record donation.

“The spirit of innovation really came to the fore last year … but the fundraising efforts didn’t stop. We adapted and so did Victorians who went online to give so generously,” Ms Fowler said.

“Ultimately the Good Friday Appeal lays its success in its grassroots supports – Victorians, who contribute whatever they can.”

The appeal has raised more than $381 million to buy equipment, staff training and research at the RCH, which helps children like Malu Hunt. The two-year-old, who is the face of this year’s appeal, had half his brain disconnected to cure his epileptic seizures.

RCH chief John Stanway said this year’s appeal would buy more than 25 pieces of equipment and help support the establishment of hospital’s new virtual care program, using telehealth and the upskilling or regional medical staff to care for more children in their own homes across the state.

“This exciting new initial will allow us to lead the way in paediatric health and allow great care beyond the four walls of the hospital,” Mr Stanway said.

Originally published in the Herald Sun, 24 February 2021
Words: Brigid O’Connell
Picture: David Caird

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