Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ken Walter is a top fundraiser

Good Friday Appeal regional manager and Echuca Lions Club member Ken Walter has raised more than $1 million in his 19 years of fundraising for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

IVY WISE April 14, 2014 3:48am

Ken Walter.

Ken Walter is in his 19th year as organiser of the Echuca-Moama Good Friday Appeal and in his time he has raised more than $1 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

As the area manager for the statewide appeal and Echuca Lions Club Good Friday Appeal organiser, Mr Walter has been involved in collecting $1.29million during the past 18 years.

‘‘It’s a bit staggering,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m very happy with the results we’ve achieved.

‘‘Any dollar is a good dollar.’’

Mr Walter, 74, said Echuca-Moama had topped the $100,000 mark three timesin 2008, 2010 and 2011.

The most raised was $108,107 in 2010.

‘‘We fluctuate between third and fifth in the top regional towns,’’ Mr Walter said.

Last year, Echuca-Moama placed fourth after raising $98,702.80, beating cities like Bendigo, Ballarat, Warrnambool and Shepparton.

Mr Walter said donations were collected on Good Friday at the appeal office at the Echuca Workers and Services Club, as well as from district fire brigades going door to door and around the streets and Kiwanis Club members collecting from campers and holiday makers along the Murray River.

Mr Walter said about a third of last year’s donations came from the Echuca, Echuca Village, Moama Rural and Moama Urban fire brigades.

‘‘I remember one year, I put all their coins in the back of my car and the whole car went down it was so heavy,’’ he said.

Money is also collected during the year through raffles at Moama RSL Club and collection tins placed at different venues.

This year, a major fundraising day on Friday at Merool on the Murray Resort, would boost the tally, Mr Walter said.

‘‘If they raise $20,000, I think it’ll get over the $100,000 mark,’’ he said.

Because Mr Walter’s work is all voluntary, organising the appeal actually costs him money, but he said it was worth it when he saw the generosity of others.

He said he had seen many generous donations over the years, but one really stood out.

‘‘We did have one individual who gave us $10,000. He was a senior man on his last legs and he gave it to us with the knowledge and consent of his family,’’ he said.

‘‘That blew me away.’’

Mr Walter said he believed the reason the appeal was so successful was because the RCH was close to many people’s hearts.

‘‘I think they recognise it is the future of our kids,’’ he said.

‘‘Lots of little people wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the RCH.

‘‘There are a lot of people who have had direct contact with the RCH while most other people know of someone, whether it be family or friends, who have needed their services.’’

Having progressively collected $16,000 during the past year, Mr Walter acknowledged the generosity of district residents.

He also encouraged them to donate at the Echuca Workers and Services Club between 8.30am and 6pm on Friday or any other time during business hours at Echuca Toyworld, 154 Hare St, Echuca.

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