Helpers needed for RCH Appeal

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

More volunteers are needed to help raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital through tomorrow’s annual Good Friday Appeal.

Deniliquin Good Friday Appeal coordinator Faye Mills said the money raised is a reflection of the number of volunteers, and that help has been waning over the last 10 years.

‘‘When I first started doing this, the whole town would be covered by volunteers, although now it is great to still see various sporting groups, families and even the local firies getting involved,’’ Mrs Mills said.

‘‘Our largest fundraising day was $20,000 and I would love to beat that number this year, but that’s something we can only achieve with help.

‘‘All of the money collected goes towards the Royal Children’s Hospital and is used to purchase and update equipment which is vital to many children, including those in our local community.

‘‘I have seen that the Deniliquin community is generous and gets behind everything they possibly can, but I also understand that we are in a drought and there are many different wonderful charities to donate to.’’

Anyone who can rattle the tins on Friday can do so at their own pace and at a time that suits them, and can register on Friday morning.

‘‘I am grateful for any donation we receive and the time that people take to help collect these generous donations; every little bit helps,’’ Mrs Mills said.

‘‘If you want to volunteer you can go to the RSL Club on Friday and collect a tin, or call me to organise it before hand or ask any questions.

‘‘Even if you can do an hour, it is a huge help to a cause that may even help you, your family or your friends.’’

Tin rattlers will be active at the Deniliquin Rams and Finely Cats traditional Leo Barry Tom Hawkins Cup match at Hardinge St Oval, Deniliquin on Friday.

Rams Good Friday Appeal coordinator Val Meadowcroft said the club has been contributing to the charity in this way for many years.

‘‘I put out a message for help with our annual participation in the appeal and the Deniliquin NSW Fire & Rescue firefighters responded to say they could assist, which is fantastic,’’ Mrs Meadowcroft said.

‘‘The fire boys will help after lunch and into the afternoon as our seniors play, and we get other players to collect too.

‘‘We just want to give something back, especially after one of our netballers was at the Royal Children’s Hospital last year in a critical condition.

‘‘Youngsters in Deniliquin who get hurt may go to RCH so we are not only helping the hospital but supporting our local families and children.’’

Also tradition in Deniliquin is the Good Friday Appeal raffle, and Mrs Mills said it has been supported strongly by the community this year.

On Tuesday the number of prizes was 24, but she said donations are constantly rolling in.

‘‘The raffle has usually had about 10 prizes, so to have so many is incredible.

‘‘We raised $7000 from the raffle by Tuesday with many popping into IGA to get a ticket or two. The support has been fantastic.

‘‘We also received a $1000 donation from The Zoo Social Club on Tuesday, which was very generous.’’

Deniliquin Showcase Jewellers owner Kate Smith said contributing to the raffle was a way to give thanks for the care her son George received at RCH.

Mrs Smith was 20 weeks pregnant with George and his twin Harvey when they discovered something was not quite right with one of George’s kidneys. After birth, the now 19 month-old was diagnosed with a duplex kidney — where two ureters come from a single kidney.

‘‘It can be difficult to find the time to go out and rattle tins or door knock, and it’s important to highlight that there are other ways to support the appeal,’’ Mrs Smith said.

‘‘I have donated a $200 voucher to the raffle.

‘‘It is great to have ways to support the Royal Children’s Hospital locally, and the Deniliquin RSL Club and local volunteers are doing a fantastic job of that.’’

Tickets are still available and will be sold outside IGA today.

If not sold out beforehand, tickets will also be sold at the Deniliquin RSL Club’s Good Friday fun day tomorrow.

The raffle will be drawn at 8pm Friday at the RSL Club.

For more information about volunteering as tin collectors, contact Mrs Mills on 0412850041 or head to the Deniliquin RSL Club tomorrow to collect a tin.