In June 1969, a small group of people working on The Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal, answering telephones and making collections, decided to band together to form a social and fundraising club. Thus the RCH Pied Pipers was founded.
Due to the enthusiasm of the members, the first year target of $600 was easily achieved and a cheque for $3,675.00 was contributed to the 1970 Appeal.
The RCH Pied Pipers is an official volunteer group of the Good Friday Appeal and as of 2012, the RCH Pied Pipers have contributed a total of $6,039,122.25 to the Appeal.
The success of the RCH Pied Pipers is result of the efforts of the members, numerous volunteers and many generous companies and supporters throughout the year. These include the "army" of secondary students who become Pied Piper helpers on Good Friday.
Over the years the Pied Pipers fund raising efforts have been many and varied ranging from small to large ventures.
During past years the majority of fund raising money has resulted from the running and organising of large events such as Motor Sport's Expos, Art and Fashion Shows, the Great Raft Race, the Sport's and Comedy Night plus collections at The Main Event and Shopping Centres around Melbourne prior to Good Friday.
Currently, the main fundraising events include Good Friday and the sale of 'Grand Final Posters' for the AFL Grand Final. The RCH Pied Pipers and volunteers also decorate the wards for Christmas at the Royal Children's Hospital. The RCH Pied Pipers also organize social events for members including Lunches, Weekend Trips, Progressive Dinners, Dinner Dances and the Theatre.
In the year 2000, we saw several of the original founding Pied Piper members celebrating their thirtieth year of service to the Club and the Royal Children' Hospital. Congratulations to Richard Williams, Margaret Lee (nee Sutherland), Simon Finney, Keith Mc Conchie and Sandra Williams.
The Pied Piper Headquarters are located in Doncaster, where members attend regular monthly Meetings.
The Annual Sports and Comedy Night was one of the RCH Pied Piper's major ventures into raising funds for Good Friday outside the usual contributions by members, their families and friends through either attending social activities or making donations. After attending a Sportsmen's Night at North Melbourne Football Club, Pied Piper member Richard Williams decided that this was an ideal way of raising a large amount of money on one night. Since its inception, in 1977, an amount of $874,328.77 has been raised.
This incredible monetary success would have been impossible to achieve without the support received from so many individuals and organizations and their donation of Lucky Envelope prizes, Drinks, Travel, etc., plus the personalities and artists who donated their time and talents.
This night has been held in September at venues including Chaucer's at Canterbury and the Hilton on the Park in Melbourne. The event included a four course, silver service dinner and drinks, together with a night of first class entertainment from Sporting Personalities and top class Entertainers with the inclusion of a fund raising Auction. Company tables made up a large percentage of the 600 patronage. Past speakers and entertainers have included The Music Men, Lou Richards, The Oarsome Foursome, Russell Mark, Andrew Hoy, Patrick McMahon, and so many others who have contributed their time and talent to the success of this night.
Patricia Mackinnon joined the Royal Children's Hospital Committee of Management in 1948, serving in several offices before being elected to the Presidency in 1965, succeeding Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.. She was appointed a Commander to the Order of the British Empire in 1972 and a Dame of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1977 in recognition of distinguished service to the community in hospital administration.
We are very privileged in having had such a distinguished, warm and caring person as our Patron-in-Chief. Dame Patricia always made it clear that she was very proud of our efforts for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, and would always sit up to hear our Good Friday total announced on Channel 7 (even in the days when our announcement was made late in the evening - often close to Midnight)! We treasure the beautifully hand-written notes of congratulation from Dame Patricia.
Thankyou letter from Dame Patricia for the 2007 Pied Pipers.
In addition to the Good Friday Appeal, Grand Final Posters and Christmas Decorations; the RCH Pied Pipers have initiated other fundraising events, which have significantly contributed to the funds raised for the Good Friday Appeal.
Examples of events organised include the following:
- Moomba Processions in 1974, where the RCH Pied Pipers won the Moomba Float competition
- Pied Pipers vs HMAS Cerberus Cricket Match: 1977
- Victorian Squash Tournament: August 1980
- Fashion Parades
- Dragster Show & Motor Sport Expo (World Trade Centre)
- Art Exhibitions
- Country and Western Shows
- Wine bottling events
The RCH Pied Pipers have achieved milestone fundraising amounts since its establishment in 1969. Below is a small selection of the Pied Pipers in the media, as we take you through a timeline of milestones which the organisation has achieved.
Click on any image to see the full article.