Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy kicked off the Bank’s annual fundraising appeal, Banking on our Kids, by having his heart measured by a couple of sick kids.
Nine-year old Jessica Watkins hooked the contraption up to Mr Liddy’s arm during the launch of the appeal and was delighted to find he was ‘big-hearted’.
Mr Liddy said he was thrilled to be launching the sixth annual appeal and the Bank had set a target of $200,000 this year, up from $170,000 in 2008.
“Banking on our Kids is our flagship fundraising appeal and we are all extremely passionate about raising as much money as we can for this great cause.
“To get the ball rolling, BOQ will kick in $10,000.”
All funds raised are donated to Children’s Hospital Foundations Australia (CHFA), a partnership of the five major children’s hospital foundations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, whose member hospitals admit around 300 patients EVERY day – many with life-threatening conditions.
After meeting some of this year’s child ambassadors for the appeal, Bank of Queensland’s Managing Director David Liddy said kids made you realise just how precious life was, especially when so young.
“That’s why I want to make this year’s Banking on our Kids the biggest yet by raising 200,000,” David said. “These children, who are the future of our country, are so brave and courageous to be going through the treatments and procedures that they do.
“I have been lucky to get to know little Jess, who was also an appeal ambassador last year and who is here this morning. Jess has been particularly close to the hearts of many BOQ staff because her Mum worked for one of our branches.
“During Banking on our Kids two years ago, Jess was desperately waiting for a liver transplant to save her life. She hadn’t eaten for around two years, instead being fed by a tube through her nose.
“Jess got her liver transplant early last year and although still undergoing regular treatment, is getting better, going to school every day and running around like any other nine-year-old.
“When you see the amazing change that children’s hospitals can make in young lives and the people around them, you realise that nothing you can do is more important.”
CHFA Director Nikki Johnston said she was excited about the appeal and confident BOQ would raise enough money to make a real difference to some really sick kids.
“Our job is to invest in research, equipment and services that will help sick kids get better faster and we are sincerely thankful to have BOQ’s ongoing support – particularly through the Banking on our Kids appeal.
“These are tough times, but we often find that it is in times of hardship, people can be more responsive to struggles faced by others. It’s the Aussie spirit coming through.
“And we are confident that the exceptional job BOQ does in getting behind the appeal, together with the support of staff, customers and other big-hearted mums, dads, aunties, uncles, brothers and sisters, will help us reach our goal of $200,000 and make a real difference in some sick kids’ lives.”
AFL star Luke Power is also a great supporter of Banking on our Kids appeal, saying that meeting kids who had been through so much at such a young age made you understand how important children’s hospitals were.
“These amazing kids spend so much time in hospital and go through so many painful and often scary procedures and treatments, yet through it all maintain a positive outlook and keep smiling through the pain,” Luke said.
“They really are superheroes and deserving of as much help as we can give them.
“And with the five Foundations working together to find break through treatments and cures for a range of children’s conditions, it really is money well spent.”
Bank of Queensland branches will be selling Helping Hearts cards for a donation to not only raise valuable funds but raise the spirits of sick kids. The cards can be inscribed with a message of hope and encouragement and will be personally delivered to sick kids in hospital at the end of the campaign.