Sebastopol Brigade is close to hitting a total of $500,000 in money raised for the Royal Children’s Hospital this year.
Sebastopol Fire Brigade volunteers started collecting in 1977 with the driving influence being Lieutenant Bill Faulkhead, who had a child cared for at the Royal Children’s Hospital at the time.
Bill’s son Jarrod was born with Oesophageal Atresia where his throat was not correctly joined to his stomach and was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital ICU, where his life was saved.
In the first year, the brigade collected $407. Fast forward to 2022 and Sebastopol has collected a total of $482,569 in the 44 years to date.
Photo: (L-R) Bill Cook, Siobhain Matheson, Angelo Aragona (in truck), Clayton Morrison, Gordon McPhan
Sebastopol Brigade’s 2nd Lieutenant of Training, David Walker said the brigade has a friendly rivalry with the Eureka Group.
“We have a trophy for whoever raises the largest amount of money each year and Sebastopol currently hold that trophy – we intend to win it again this year!” David said.
This year the volunteers will be doing tin collections on the Thursday and on Good Friday, asking local residents to again dig deep.
“We will have members out collecting at the Sebastopol Woolworths and Aldi stores in Albert St Sebastopol, and at Delacombe Woolworths in the Delacombe Town Centre leading up to Good Friday,” he said.
“We will also be running our usual Good Friday roadside collections and collecting at the fire station.”
In the past, Sebastopol has found novel ways to raise money. They have participated in radio auctions where they auctioned off a duck, paintings and a ‘has-been ‘ram.
One year, brigade members were shocked when Dame Edna Everage was in town and Lieutenant Bill Faulkhead turned up in his wife’s ballgown, shower cap and a shawl.
Sebastopol member Bill Cook says it’s a privilege to get up every Good Friday to collect money.
“It’s an absolute honour to raise money for one of the best children’s hospitals in the world,” he said.
“I know many parents who have had children in the Hospital and hearing their stories just eggs us on that little bit extra to support such a worthy cause.”
If Sebastopol hits the $500,000 mark this year, they will produce a celebration shirt recognising the 45th year.
CFA members have supported the Good Friday Appeal since 1951 (71 years), volunteering their time and raising funds for the hospital and have raised more than $35 million. The 2022 Good Friday Appeal will be held on Friday 15 April.
You can donate to Sebastopol’s tally.
- Gordon McPhan and Bill Cook
- (L-R) Gordon McPhan, Siobhain Matheson, Angelo Aragona (in truck), Clayton Morrison