Telethon has been so special for me ever since I was a little girl. I remember staying up late, watching the excitement and being so inspired by how much money was raised helping sick kids over 26 hours of live television. This year Telethon kicked off with a massive opening act from Johnny Ruffo, Daryl Braithwaite, Soul Mystique, Andrew Da Silva and an array of Channel 7 stars and promised to be the biggest and best Telethon yet!
I popped backstage before heading to the Lexus Ball and met Daryl Braithwaite. One of my closest friends Carol has been a Daryl fan since his Sherbert days and asked me to get a quick snap with him. ‘Carol and Daryl’ has such a great ring to it don’t you think?
Johnny Ruffo is such a great sport, straight after opening Telethon he put his hand up to wear a sumo wrestler suit onstage along with Angus McLaren from Packed to the Rafters.
I was beyond excited to meet Brynne Edelsten, I loved her even before her ‘My Bedazzled Life’ began. She was so lovely and more than happy to pose for a couple of happy snaps.
Matt Fuller completed a 24 hour ergo grinder challenge in a bid to raise over $60,000 for Telethon. Matt and his gorgeous wife Naomi are such an inspiration, tirelessly raising funds for the kids of WA.
My hubby, Basil Zempilas hosted the opening of Telethon and then raced over to MC the second half of the Lexus Ball. Governor Malcolm McCusker and his wife Tonya placed the winning bid on a stunning Solid Gold pendant worth $90,000, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the ballroom when they donated the exquisite diamond pendant to Telethon girl Sophie to wear to her first school dance. So much respect to the wonderfully kind and generous couple.
We took our daughter along for the closing of Telethon and it was great to catch up with George Houvardas from Packed to the Rafters who we met a few years back. He was such a natural with Ava and will make a fantastic Dad one day.
Ava made her TV debut for Telethon with her Daddy, along with Molly Meldrum, Lisa Fernandez, Paul Hogan and John Burgess.
Reece Mastin has turned into a megastar since winning X Factor, and was kind enough to have a pic with me in the green room.
It was so amazing to chat to Molly backstage, I told him that in years to come we’ll tell Ava how she made her TV debut with him. Molly has made a remarkable recovery since his accident last year and was telling me he was flying back to Melbourne on the red eye, to then board a private jet to Sydney for a charity function with Hugh Jackman and Deborra- Lee Furness. What a champion! Molly is truly one of the nicest celebrities I’ve ever met, along with Aurelio Costarella.
The ultimate highlight of the weekend for me was when Ava met Telethon kids Conor and Sophie. They chatted, played and happily had photos taken together. Children don’t notice illness or disabilities, they’re too busy having fun and being kids. It was such a precious and heart warming moment for me as a mother.
Telethon makes me so very proud to be a West Australian, I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone in WA when I say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteers their time to make Telethon possible and to everyone who generously donates funds. This year, Telethon raised a record breaking $16, 805, 622! What an incredible effort!
Many thanks to Telethon General Manager Steve Mummery and his entire team who work tirelessly throughout the year to make Telethon the huge success that it is. Without them Telethon simply wouldn’t happen.
And finally, a special shout out to my hubby Basil Zempilas who opens and closes Telethon and for who nothing is ever too much trouble. It’s one of the many reasons I married him.
Together, we can all dream and work towards a better future for our kids.
What were your favourite moments of Telethon 2012?