Pen­nies foun­da­tion for sav­ing chil­dren

Stirling Times - - News - Lau­ren Pi­lat

PERTH Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal (PCH) started from the cu­rios­ity of a young girl in 1897 who was fas­ci­nated by an an­i­mated mon­ey­box in a de­part­ment store.

While wait­ing for her mother at Messrs Chas Moore & Co., the child played with the mon­ey­box by putting pen­nies on the spring-loaded hand that flung them into the box.

When asked by the store owner Charles Moore what she wanted the money to go to­wards, the young girl said a chil­dren’s hospi­tal.

WA did not have a ded­i­cated hospi­tal for chil­dren at the time, so Mr Moore formed a com­mit­tee to raise funds to build one, start­ing with the three pen­nies do­nated by the child.

On June 30, 1908, the orig­i­nal hospi­tal build­ing on the cor­ner of Roberts and Thomas roads in Su­bi­aco, which is now called God­frey House, opened its doors.

PCH Foun­da­tion spokes­woman Jan­marie Michie said the orig­i­nal hospi­tal was pri­vate, and run and funded by the com­mit­tee.

It was called PCH un­til Princess Mar­garet vis­ited in the 1950s, when it was re­named in her hon­our.

The Su­bi­aco resident said the gov­ern­ment took over the hospi­tal in the ’90s and com­mit­tee board mem­bers estab­lished the PMH Foun­da­tion in 1998 as a sep­a­rate en­tity to raise ad­di­tional funds.

Two decades on, the foun­da­tion has re­verted back to the orig­i­nal hospi­tal’s name and will mark its 20th an­niver­sary by mov­ing this month into the new PCH in Ned­lands.

Ms Michie said the new lo­ca­tion would mean the foun­da­tion would now op­er­ate from the hospi­tal and run three ar­eas, in­clud­ing Fun on Four, where Ra­dio Lol­lipop and Cap­tain Starlight will be based.

“The open­ing of the new hospi­tal is very ex­cit­ing be­cause we’re all about sup­port­ing kids,” she said.

“We ex­ist to fund new in­no­va­tive equip­ment and ground­break­ing re­search, the things that wouldn’t fall into the gov­ern­ment’s ex­ist­ing bud­get.

“The hospi­tal is a new fa­cil­ity and has a lot of new equip­ment in it but that equip­ment and med­i­cal tech­nol­ogy de­vel­ops fast, so we’re look­ing at es­tab­lish­ing a fu­ture fund by look­ing at what long term needs of the hospi­tal will be and how we as a foun­da­tion can help fund that.”

In the past 12 months the foun­da­tion has fundraised $4 mil­lion and com­mit­ted an ad­di­tional $25.46 mil­lion to longer term projects and ini­tia­tives at PCH over the next five years.

In 20 years, Ms Michie said PCH Foun­da­tion had funded sev­eral firsts in pae­di­atric hospi­tals across the coun­try, in­clud­ing a pae­di­atric ro­botic arm in 2014 and a ReWalk ma­chine that helped chil­dren gain move­ment.

“We are only able to do this be­cause of the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity who gives us money,” she said.

“We reg­u­larly get chil­dren walk­ing up the steps to our of­fice want­ing to do­nate a zi­plock bag full of money they’ve earned from hold­ing a lemon­ade stand or chil­dren who have had a birth­day and in­stead of get­ting presents they’ve asked peo­ple to do­nate to the foun­da­tion.”

Ms Michie said it was with those acts of kind­ness that the foun­da­tion would con­tinue to grow and sup­port the hospi­tal in help­ing sick chil­dren, just like the lit­tle girl did more than 120 years ago.

Mov­ing in­fants into new ward 7 in 1938.

Dr Pa­trick Pem­ber­ton.

Veranda school lessons.

The hospi­tal’s first X-ray ma­chine, pre-1920s.

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