Good Friday Appeal brings out community good

By Shepparton News

Good Friday has particular significance for Victorians, Christians and non-Christians alike.

It is the day we traditionally dig deep for the Good Friday Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal — shortened to the Good Friday Appeal by years and familiarity.

Older readers will recall how pervasive the appeal was when we had but one commercial TV station and Good Friday viewing was devoted entirely to the event.

Started in 1931, the original fund-raising supported a number of Melbourne hospitals, raising £427 or just shy of $40000 in today’s terms.

Over the years, the focus of the appeal has narrowed to serve only the Royal Children’s, but the amounts have grown, with last year pulling in a record $18million.

Many of the raindrops that merge to form that torrent fall locally.

Last month we reported on Neil Lonie’s efforts. For over a decade, Mr Lonie and a multitude of supporters have been organising an annual auction, delivering tens of thousands of dollars each year.

At the weekend we wrote about an annual bike ride — in its 17th year having raised $30000 — that Shepparton resident Phil Stevenson leads.

Mr Lonie and Mr Stevenson were touched by tragedy and have since turned that tragedy into support for the Royal Children’s.

It is a common story.

Across the region this week, children will be dressing up, painting their faces and colouring their hair.

Others will be sewing, riding, baking, or just engaging in some old-fashioned fundraising with a smile and a tin.

Schools, clubs and close groups of friends from Murchison to Numurkah, Kyabram to Cosgrove, will be digging deep and digging in to help.

It is our community at its best.

We congratulate anyone who has donated, and we celebrate everyone who has participated to make those donations bigger and better.

We hope this year, like every year preceding it since 1996, is yet another record breaker.