28th September, 2016

The Sunshine Coast community is the fourth most generous regional community in the state.

In just four weeks, a total of $67,336 was raised for Wishlist through the 2016 Regional Wall Token campaign, made possible by Woolworths and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe with Woolworths Sunshine Coast Group Manager Brett Fisher and local Woolworths staff at the Paediatric Ward playground at Nambour Hospital.

“When I found out the Sunshine Coast community had collectively raised more than $67,000 in one month, I was speechless,” Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said.

“The Woolworths Wall Token appeal is a wonderful annual initiative which allows the community to support their own, and through Wishlist, every dollar of the $67,336 will stay on the Coast in help sick children in our hospitals.”

The funds raised will go towards supporting vital paediatric services and extending on the highly-anticipated Clown Doctors service which will roll out at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital next year.

Woolworths Sunshine Coast Group Manager Brett Fisher said Woolworths teams across Queensland and northern New South Wales sold $2 wall tokens at checkouts to fund life-saving medical equipment for sick kids at major and regional hospitals.

The campaign which ran from June 27 until July 24 raised a total of $1.06 million for hospital foundations from Lismore to Cairns.

“I am thrilled with the result, which is more than double last year’s fundraising tally,” Mr Fisher said.

“Our Sunshine Coast customers are incredibly generous and they can be assured that these funds make a real difference.

“This year, we were able to share Bella Harry’s story, who became the Sunshine Coast’s 2016 Woolworths ambassador.”

The Nambour teenager was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, at just 11-years-old and continues her treatment to fight the aggressive disease two years on.

“It is the young people, like Bella, who were at the forefront of our minds when Woolworths started this campaign in 2015,” Mr Fisher added.

Ms Rowe said the Clown Doctor initiative was particularly exciting in a bid to brighten the days of children who were in hospital for long periods of time.

“Through the recent Wishlist Spring Carnival and the 2016 House the Coast Built, we have been able to appoint two Clown Doctors to the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital,” Ms Rowe said.

Clown Doctors.  Photo supplied by The Humour Foundation.
Clown Doctors.
Photo supplied by The Humour Foundation.

“However, now thanks to the Wall Token campaign, we can commit to two years of the service for two days every week.

“The Clown Doctors do wonderful work to divert children’s attention during painful procedures, calm them in an emergency and encourage them in physiotherapy.

“The benefits of laughter are real – it relaxes the muscles, helps the immune system, reduces pain, helps promote a positive outlook and has a good effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory system.”

100 per cent of donations to Wishlist go directly to benefitting Sunshine Coast’s public patients. Wishlist’s operational costs are covered by Nambour General Hospital’s multi-level carpark.

Want to know more about Wishlist? Visit www.wishlist.org.au.