By Glen Atwell
A SICK friend’s granted wish was the only reason Endeavour Hills resident Christie D’Ardeno needed to get involved with Starlight Day.
Now Ms D’Ardeno is preparing for her fourth year behind the merchandise stall at Centro Cranbourne.
Starlight Day is not until 2 May, but the Starlight Children’s Foundation is urgently seeking 4000 volunteers to register before the event to ensure the annual fundraising event is bigger and better than ever.
Ms D’Ardeno urged Casey residents to visit the Starlight website and get involved.
“I had a friend who had a wish granted by the Starlight Children’s Foundation,” she said.
“It was to meet (musician) Ben Harper, and ever since then, I’ve been only too happy to help out each year.”
“It’s great seeing the direct impact that donations have on seriously ill children,” Ms D’Ardeno.
Volunteers are needed to sell Starlight Day merchandise at venues throughout the City of Casey, as the event attempts to raise a record-breaking $2 million.
Ms D’Ardeno said the volunteers at Centro Cranbourne always had a fun and entertaining day.
“The people are terrific, it does get busy when we are selling plenty of merchandise, but that’s all part of the experience,” she said.
Each year there are more than 600,000 child hospital admissions across Australia and at the moment Starlight can only reach one in three of these children.
Starlight chief executive Jill Weekes said living with serious illness caused enormous strain for both children and families.
“This often means that the everyday joys of childhood take a backseat to the stress of treatment and isolation,” she said.
“Starlight delivers programs to seriously ill children that restore the happiness and laughter that illness takes away.”
To find out more information about volunteering this Starlight Day, or to register as a volunteer, visit www.starlight.org.au or phone 1300 727 827.
By Glen Atwell