On Friday 20 July, st kilda football clubs and fans came together to kick off the third maddie's match. with thanks to our generous community, we raised an enormous $1.5 million!
This result was kick started when our State Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy pledged $300,000 towards the game in April this year. The Andrews Government announced a total of $2.4 million support to Maddie’s Vision at the same time and this included to match funds for Maddie’s Match. Combined with the State government funding, the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt made a surprise live announcement of a $1 million grant – while we are still receiving additional donations, we are thrilled to be at a final tally to over $1.5 million.
It was an amazing night, as the crowd of over 37,000 celebrated the life of Maddie Riewoldt in a sea of purple. Through crowd attendance, direct donations, the purchase of #FightLikeMaddie merchandise and all the sponsors activities in the lead up and surrounding the match, Maddie's Match 2018 saw the biggest fundraising result yet and are another step closer to our mission of a cure for Bone Marrow Failure.
Our 200 + wonderful volunteers came out in droves of support and sought donations of a purple $5 note, as the crowd embraced the evening donning purple clothing, hair, tattoos and face paint. The Melbourne Star and Bolte Bridge turned purple and the Saints once again broke with tradition trading their red stripe for a purple one on their match-worn guernsey. Etihad also continued the renaming of the ends of the stadium.
The hype was huge this year with incredible support in the media and also the addition of new match ambassadors including Joshua Bruce and Maverick Weller from the Saints and David Astbury and Kane Lambert from Richmond. Jack Riewoldt was the leader of the pack and Nick Riewoldt was running just as much off field between live broadcast interviews, member functions and the new addition of the celebrity cash grab!
Joining Nick in the Pepper Money Cash Grab machine included Hamish McLachlan, Matthew Richardson, Dee Dee Dunleavy, Sam Lane, Georgia Love and Bob Murphy. The Cash Grab was made possible thanks to our valued sponsors Pepper Money, SupaGas, RSEA Safety, McDonalds and Salters Hire. Etihad hosted an online auction which saw some excellent items won and Authentic Autographs donated three frames fetching close to $20,000.
We’re always in awe of the support we receive from the St Kilda Football Club but we were overwhelmed this year with the support from the entire AFL community. Although Maddie’s Match is now over you can always support Maddie’s Vision, purchasing merchandise or simply making a $5 donation to #HighFiveforMaddie. Maddie fought her battle with inspiring determination and courage and we will always continue to #FightLikeMaddie.
Photography: Mike Tarr