Fundraising for the Good Friday Appeal in and around Benalla has surpassed expectation with local groups raising more than $170000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Events took place in Tatong, Devenish and Benalla with dedicated volunteers going above and beyond to not only reach their goals, but in all cases collecting much more than expected.
Tatong and district Good Friday Appeal area manager Jade Kirk said she was in shock at the amount raised and it was far more than they had hoped for.
‘‘Our fundraising in Tatong absolutely surpassed anything we ever expected,’’ Ms Kirk said.
‘‘Our highest total in the past was just over $52000, that was in 2016.
‘‘This year just in Tatong we raised much more.
‘‘We are still counting, but at the moment we are sitting on $76586 and that figure will go up as we are waiting on some donations to come in.
‘‘We did things a little differently this year, for example we moved from the pub to the old footy ground, and we got a $10000 donation from one family, thank you to the Davis family for that.
‘‘It’s all a bit surreal, we can’t believe we’ve raised that much money.
‘‘We had about 350 people there, it was just amazing and a great atmosphere. Everyone was having a good time.’’
Tatong was not the only fundraiser that broke records with the people of Devenish beating their target of $30000 by more than $20000.
Neil Lonie, one of the organisers of the Devenish Good Friday Appeal said they ‘‘well and truly exceeded expectations’’.
‘‘We ran a sheep and lamb drive and got $18000 from that alone,’’ Mr Lonie said.
‘‘We raised $19000 from our auction and the rest was raised by running different raffles and events on the day, and of course, donations.
‘‘We’re truly indebted to our sponsors and helpers on the day.
‘‘Together we have raised more than $52000.’’
Ron Schultz, who led the CFA appeal, said they beat last year’s total thanks to a great effort by Benalla and other local CFA volunteers.
‘‘We managed to raise over $26000 this year which is fantastic,’’ Mr Schultz said.
‘‘The brigade looks after the collections on Good Friday, which means walking the streets of Benalla and we had a few fire trucks from Benalla and other local brigades.
‘‘We appreciate the generosity of the people of Benalla who are always happy to donate to a good cause.’’
The Farmers Arms also took part in the fundraising, bringing in more than $20000.
That takes the total raised by Tatong, Devenish, the CFA and the Farmers Arms to more than $174586.