Starlight’s ‘Big Change for Little Champions’ Telethon on the NRL Footy Show had an ambitious goal to raise $500,000 but it received a hefty boost with the help of a $20,000 donation from Canterbury League Club.
Canterbury Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM was on hand during a live cross-feed from the Bulldogs’ Presentation Night to award the cheque to Starlight together with Bulldogs’ Captain James Graham and Aidan Tolman.
The money raised from the telethon will enable Starlight to help 12,800 children in their first year in hospital through Starlight’s in-hospital programs like Captain Starlight, Express Rooms, Livewire and Outreach. Starlight has been brightening the lives of chronically-ill children since 1988.
Starlight currently has 120 Captain Starlights cheering kids up across three NSW hospitals and they are very important members of the Starlight team.
Claire Zipeure, Partnership Executive at Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia, says Captain Starlights are highly-skilled individuals – usually trained actors, dancers or magicians – with a caring and patient personality. All Captains are put through a rigorous training program to ensure they are well-equipped to interact with children and their families.
“This is the fourth year that Canterbury has supported this wonderful charity – Starlight’s important work through their Captain Starlights and other programs continue year after year, helping bring a smile to the faces of sick kids and taking their minds off their illnesses and pain at least for a little while,” said Dr George Peponis.