Alan Hall of Very Special Kids was in town recently to present Heathcote's Chelsea Wearne with an award for her fundraising efforts.
Heathcote’s Chelsea Wearne had a special visit last week from a large, pink pig that travelled from Melbourne to see her.
Miss Wearne, an employee of Champions IGA in Heathcote, has spent the past year working to raise more than $8000 for the Very Special Kids Piggy Bank Appeal.
She has hosted a golf day and trivia night at Heathcote Golf Club, as well as merchandise sales and coin collections through the Champions IGA Lots of Lotto outlet.
‘‘Chelsea has done an amazing job,’’ Very Special Kids’ Alan Hall said.
‘‘Heathcote’s Lots of Lotto was our second highest fundraiser from all Tatts Group outlets in Victoria.
‘‘Regional Victorians have been outstanding contributors to the Piggy Bank Appeal and we couldn’t exist without them,’’ Mr Hall said.
Since Heathcote Lots of Lotto first took on the challenge to raise funds for the appeal in 2008, staff have raised more than $130,000 for Very Special Kids.
‘‘In 27 years it has grown from assisting two families to over 800 because of people like Chelsea and Heathcote IGA, and the hard work they put in to support us,’’ Mr Hall said.
‘‘It’s amazing that the need doesn’t dissipate.’’
Miss Wearne said she decided to embrace the Piggy Bank Appeal fundraising efforts at Lots of Lotto after being challenged by another staff member to beat the store’s best fundraising effort from previous years.
‘‘I didn’t get there, but I gave it a go,’’ Miss Wearne said.
Very Special Kids chief executive David Agnew was delighted with the final result from the Piggy Bank Appeal, which this year raised $1.44 million for the organisation which supports families throughout their experience of caring for children with life-threatening illnesses, from diagnosis through to recovery or bereavement.
‘‘On behalf of the staff, volunteers and more than 800 families supported by Very Special Kids, we would like to thank Heathcote Lots of Lotto for contributing to this wonderful result,’’ Mr Agnew said.
‘‘This funding will continue to help support 28 families of children with life-threatening illnesses in the Loddon Mallee region.’’
Miss Wearne and Heathcote Lots of Lotto staff are not planning on taking much of a break from their fundraising efforts, with plans already in the works for next year’s events.
‘‘We’re having a Piggy Bank Appeal Golf Day on April 13 next year, which everyone is welcome to take part in, whether they’re a beginner or experienced golfer, so there’s plenty of time to get in some practice,’’ Miss Wearne said.
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