In Liz Henderson’s charity events rundown, WA’s 2015 Telethon breaks records raising a stratospheric $25,854,524, and Steve Waugh chats about his foundation’s debut event, the Captain’s Ride.

$582,982 more for Western Australia’s Telethon

Fundraising for WA’s Telethon has continued to climb in 2015, with a new record of $25,854,524 flowing in during 26 hours live on-air over the weekend of October 17 and 18. That is an impressive $582,982 more than last year’s results. The money will go towards the Channel 7 Telethon Trust, which benefits the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the Telethon Kids Institute, along with an array of other charities, hospitals, and medical and research facilities, in Western Australia. 

Helping push up the tally were a string of gifts of $1 million or larger. These included $4 million from BHP Billiton for the second year running as part of $20 million being donated over 5 years; $1.5 million from Perth businessman, Tim Roberts; $1.1 million from the McCusker Charitable Foundation; $1 million from Ramsay Health Care and $1.25 million from Wesfarmers.

Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation also gave $1 million, matching all donations made through the Sunday Times Call Centre in the Telethon’s first four hours.

Watch the 7 News recap of the Telethon Weekend by clicking on the image below: 

Steve Waugh talks about the Captain’s Ride

The Steve Waugh Foundation has launched a new event, the Captain’s Ride (November 1 – 6), asking 65 “captains of character and industry” to ride 920km from Sydney to Byron Bay, and raise around $750,000 to put rare diseases on the map. 

Retired Aussie cricket captain, Steve Waugh, founded the charity to assist children with rare diseases with his wife, Lynette, in 2004.

In a phone chat with F&P before setting off on the 150km a day cycle ride, Waugh revealed why participants were high achievers. “We are encouraging each to raise $10,000,” he said, “so we wanted to go to influential people, people who were aspirational … and their companies could get behind it.” 

“Once they spend six days finding out about the organisation, they are going to hopefully have an ongoing association with the Foundation, because I think they’ll really believe in and see what we are doing.”

Given the gruelling nature of the event, “they see it as a life challenge,” he added, “which it is for me!”

“I wanted an event which in some small way mimics what the families have to go through with rare diseases. They face challenges every day, they’ve got to have a positive attitude, they’ve got to work together to get through the tough times.”

The Steve Waugh Foundation website also invited engagement with the ride and Steve Waugh himself by giving website visitors the chance to send messages to his Fitbit during the ride: 

Captains Ride Website - Cheer Steve On

Liz Henderson is editor of Fundraising & Philanthropy Magazine.

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