Cast your memory back to a time when we had local television that cared about the community and every year would hold a charity fund raiser which included local TV and radio personalities, musicians, singers, performers and members of the public.
There was the Channel 10 Christmas Appeal, Channel 7 Good Friday Appeal and Channel 9’s House of Hope, all annual events and each one raising much needed cash for local charitable causes.
I remember the pre-TV days when it all started on the wireless. Back then we would listen to the 5AD Good Friday Appeal, and a clipping from the Advertiser on the 19th April 1954 reported that “donations to the 5AD Good Friday Appeal this year raised a record of £27.520/15/10, for the Adelaide Children’s Hospital building fund. Donations may be handed in at the front office of ‘The Advertiser’ from 9 am tomorrow. The manager of 5AD (Mr Keith Macdonald) said that it had been a wonderful result and thanked the listeners who had sent in donations”.
In 1969 it expanded to the 5AD/Channel 7 Good Friday Appeal and each year media personalities, performers and the public pitched in to raise millions of dollars over the years for the hospital. It was all totally unscripted television with a panel, usually including major personalities, reading out donations, with regular crosses to the phone room where the donations were being called through. People would be shaking collection cans at traffic lights and some people pulled some crazy stunts to raise money for the day.
Channel 9 aired Telethon broadcasts throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including raising money for “The House Of Hope” a home that would be built each year for Telethon. Local television stars from all channels would visit channel 9 across the live broadcast weekend to participate in the Telethon. Musicians from interstate would also travel to Adelaide for the round-the-clock marathon broadcast. It was the only time of the year that an Adelaide television station continued to broadcast during the overnight hours.
In 1973 SAS10 Adelaide created the Children’s Medical Research Foundation and the “Channel 10 Christmas Appeal” with again, stars from around the network flying into Adelaide for the weekend live broadcast from SAS10 studios in Gilberton.
Some of the names included actors from popular Channel 10 TV show “Number 96” and “The Box”. Game show host Gary Meadows was the anchor for most years. This is where the catchy tune “thank you very much for your kind donation” originated, which would be played whenever a major donation was announced during the broadcast with members of the cast forming a conga line and dancing around the studio.
The last Christmas Appeal on Channel 10 Adelaide was held in 1989.
They were always special weekends locally with kids raiding their money boxes to make a donation and then wait for their name to be called out on the air. There were larger donations made also with challenges and ‘dares’ to the personalities and performers on the panel, which kept both the live audience and the viewers entertained for hours.
I believe Channel 10 still holds a Christmas Appeal each year in Perth and I often wonder why one of the channels in Adelaide doesn’t hold a telethon of some kind, either at Easter or Christmas. It would raise buckets of much needed money for local charities. Sadly I fear that TV channels these days, like radio stations, are all owned and operated by big business who don’t really care about local communities, only about corporate profits!!