GOOD FRIDAY APPEAL: Twin cities raise $150,133

EVERY bit counts — a coke bottle full of five cent pieces and a girl’s money box helped raise a record $150,133 in Albury-Wodonga for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

More than 260 volunteers collected $81,280 for Wodonga and $62,700 for Albury.

Last night the soccer match at the La Trobe University soccer ground in Wodonga added a further $6153 to the appeal.

“We had one person hand over a coke bottle full of five cent pieces and a girl with her money box,” Wodonga Lions Club appeal co-ordinator Phil Wilkins said.

Last year Wodonga raised $71,228 and Albury $58,000.

“Our target was $80,000 and we even exceeded that,” Mr Wilkins said.

“It just goes to show the continued support we get from the community is exceptional.”

Wodonga fire brigade Lieutenant Alex Todd had an emergency call from an elderly woman yesterday concerned she had missed the volunteers.

“They must have been too quick for her the first time, so we sent them back around to collect it,” he said.

“It just goes to show that people take this seriously and want their money to count.”

Albury and district appeal manager Brett Perston, from the Rotary Club of Albury, was happy with the level of community support that included many children breaking open their piggy banks.

“It’s been a fantastic day — we had a Thurgoona man donate $1500 he raised from his Christmas lights display,” he said.

“We also had an $8000 donation from Woolworths that got us off to a flying start.

“We have finished counting but have some odds and ends coming in.”

Yesterday’s volunteers came from all walks of life, including the army, State Emergency Service, firefighters and Lions and Rotary clubs.

Wodonga teenager Paige McDonald appeared as part of the Good Friday Appeal television coverage yesterday, being interviewed at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The Wodonga TAFE student suffers from scoliosis, a curvature of the spine.

She is in hospital for an operation to correct her condition and her warm smile and laughter warmed many hearts.

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