Giant piggy banks raise $951,623 for Very Special Kids

A huge $951,623 has been raised during the 2017 Piggy Bank Appeal to help more than 900 Victorian families caring for children with life-threatening conditions.

Five giant piggy banks travelled 7,168 kilometers across Victoria collecting donations for the charity Very Special Kids, with the support of 304 volunteers, 88 ALH Group venues, 277 Commonwealth Banks and numerous other businesses and organisations.

Very Special Kids CEO Michael Wasley says the funds raised will enable Very Special Kids to continue its important work.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous support of our corporate partners, our volunteers, and the Victorian community, for enabling us to care for more than 900 families across the state.

“While the future is uncertain for many of these families and their children, one thing they can rely on is that Very Special Kids will be there to offer respite and end-of-life care through the hospice and practical and emotional support through our Family Support Services and Family Service Volunteers, and all free-of-charge.

“It costs $7.6million per year to operate Very Special Kids. Thank you for helping us give these families that certainty,” said Michael.

On Thursday night at the finale event for the 2017 Piggy Bank Appeal, Very Special Kids recognised the businesses, community groups and individuals that worked tirelessly throughout the month of September to raise funds for Very Special Kids, including major partners Seven News Melbourne, Commonwealth Bank and ALH Group.  Awards were presented to those who went the extra mile.

Piggy Bank Appeal Awards

ALH Group

  • Highest Fundraiser for Category A: Glengala Hotel raised $6,098.85
  • Recognition Award for Category A: Westmeadows Hotel raised $4,507.10
  • Highest Fundraiser for Category B: Gateway Hotel raised $10,684.70
  • Recognition Award for Category B: York on Lilydale raised $9,811.00
  • Highest Fundraiser for Category C: Bayswater Hotel raised $10,000.00
  • Recognition Award for Category C: Manningham Hotel raised $8,331.90
  • Overall Highest Fundraising Venue for the ALH Group: Gateway Hotel raised $10,684.70


Commonwealth Bank

  • 1st Highest Fundraising Branch: Shepparton High Street raised $3,561.40
  • 2nd Highest Fundraising Branch: Castlemaine raised $2,782.15
  • 3rd Highest Fundraising Branch: Rosebud raised $1,496.10
  • Branch Recognition Award: Pakenham raised $1,624.25

Lotto Outlet Awards

  • 1st Highest Fundraising Lotto: Inverloch Lotto raised $4,874.15
  • 2nd Highest Fundraising Lotto: Clifton Hill Lotto raised $4,792.95
  • 3rd Highest Fundraising Lotto: Maryborough News & Lotto raised $1,117.55

Community Supporter Awards

  • 1st Highest Community Fundraiser: Pantry in Brighton raised $47,312.65
  • 2nd Highest Community Fundraiser: Westend Market Hotel raised $16,529.32
  • 3rd Highest Community Fundraiser: Keilor East RSL raised $11,600
  • Community Fundraiser Recognition Award: Frankston RSL raised $6,118.50

Volunteer Recognition Awards

  • Rising Star Award: Claire Rasmussen and Mandy Lobley
    This recognition award was too difficult to split so this year we decided to award two very deserving volunteers. Both of these amazing young women are new to Very Special kids and are extremely driven and enthusiastic. They both attended five day Regional Trails for the first time, one while studying full time and the other while working full time. We are thrilled to be able to recognise their contribution to the success of this year’s appeal.
  • Volunteer Recognition Award: Lucy Nicholson
    We were incredibly fortunate to have so many worthy contenders for this award this year, but the decision was ultimately made to honour a volunteer who really stepped out of her comfort zone. Still on P-plates, Lucy undertook our driver training course and learnt how to tow our giant piggy so she could drive on Regional Trails. Taking time out of her university studies, she constantly put her hand up to help whenever necessary and she lead the way with confidence and maturity.