Our Crown jewel

New-look Telethon bound for Bur­swood

Eastern Reporter Bayswater & Bassendean - - FRONT PAGE - Angela Pownall

TELETHON re­turns for its 53rd year next month with a new-look event and a fam­ily fes­ti­val in Bur­swood that will cel­e­brate WA and its cul­ture of giv­ing.

The much-loved fundraiser for chil­dren in need will be held on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 24, and

Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 25, with live broad­casts on Channel 7 on both nights.

For the first time, there will be a Telethon Fam­ily Fes­ti­val held at Op­tus Sta­dium, with ac­tiv­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment to run all af­ter­noon on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 25.

Telethon chair­man Richard Goy­der said the new for­mat was nec­es­sary be­cause of on­go­ing re­stric­tions and closed bor­ders due to the COVID-19 pan­demic.

“We did it re­luc­tantly but we’re also quite ex­cited about it,” he said.

“COVID cre­ates a lot of lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges of get­ting peo­ple, like en­ter­tain­ers and the Channel 7 stars, to Western Aus­tralia. We’re just not go­ing to be able to do that this year.”

The Perth busi­ness­man and father of four said while Telethon was am­bi­tious about beat­ing the $42.6 mil­lion raised last year, the 2020 Telethon week­end was also about unit­ing WA in a dif­fi­cult year.

“We’re re­al­is­tic in our ex­pec­ta­tions this year but we still think it’s go­ing to be phe­nom­e­nal,” he said.

COVID-19 re­stric­tions have put a halt to nu­mer­ous things this year, but many WA chil­dren con­tinue to be af­fected by ill­ness, dis­abil­ity and dis­ad­van­tage.

Mr Goy­der said the need for the help that Telethon pro­vided was now even greater.

Many of the 53 char­i­ties which ben­e­fited from Telethon fund­ing this year were do­ing it tough be­cause of can­celled pro­grams and fundrais­ing events.

“Our health as a com­mu­nity is re­flected in the health and well­be­ing of our kids,” Mr Goy­der said.

“Whether it’s med­i­cal re­search or whether it’s just look­ing af­ter the kids who have got re­ally se­ri­ous dis­ease and dis­abil­i­ties, Telethon re­ally lifts that up.”

Mr Goy­der, who is also chair­man of Wood­side Pe­tro­leum, the AFL Com­mis­sion and Qan­tas, said he would just ask every­one to be as gen­er­ous as they can.

“Every dol­lar we raise goes to a ben­e­fi­ciary or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he said.

“Part of the brand of Telethon is that money goes to where it’s needed, and this year it’s needed more than ever.”

Pic­ture: Jack­son Flin­dell

Basil Zem­pi­las with Telethon stars Ea­mon Doak and Nora Holly.

Pic­ture: Jack­son Flin­dell Telethon host Basil Zem­pi­las meets the 2020 Telethon Lit­tle Stars Ea­mon Doak and Nora Holly.

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