- Accor Stadium Members raised another $23,700 for The Children’s Hospital at Westmead at the 2022 Members’ Dinner, with the cheque presentation made this week in the countdown to Christmas.
- In 2023, the Stadium and the Hospital will celebrate the 21st anniversary of our charity partnership . . . with the Stadium and its Members donating almost $500,000 toward significant health-care projects.
- Now we’re supporting the Light Up Christmas appeal . . . to help give sick kids the brightest possible Christmas. Buy a Virtual Bauble here and light up Christmas for the kids in hospital!
Story by Arthur Stanley
Pictures by Ayush Kumar & Angela Croft
TEENAGER Molly Croft knows a thing or two about spending Christmas in hospital. She spent back-to-back festive seasons undergoing treatment for the aggressive osteosarcoma that turned her young life and those of her loved ones upside down.
It’s why she speaks so passionately about The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation appeal to Light Up Christmas . . . a simple way we can all help to make Christmas as bright as possible for sick kids.
“No one likes to spend Christmas in hospital, let alone kids, but the amazing doctors, nurses and staff at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead make it the best possible day it can be and it’s quite a party all day long,” says three-time cancer survivor Molly, 16, who lives with her family at Dubbo in central-west NSW.
“Santa comes around the wards while the kids are sleeping and fills the Santa sack at the end of the bed – and he’s always doing his rounds of the hospital during the day.
“The reality is that each year thousands of children need life-changing and life-saving care from the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network . . . even at Christmas. But we can still make it a special Christmas for them with your support.”
Molly Croft and staff in 2019 at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead celebrating Christmas.
Molly Croft at the 2019 Accor Stadium Members dinner (above), and again in 2022, three years later with her family (below).
Accor Stadium Members know Molly Croft well. She’s the extraordinary young woman who has made us simultaneously cry, laugh and dig deep into our pockets as she has shared her heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring life story.
We met Molly as a 13-year-old who was too sick to get up on stage at our 2019 Members’ Dinner. She had been determined to attend all the same, knowing that the evening is a key fundraiser for The Children’s Hospital. Her Dad John spoke that night and there was not a dry eye in the house.
Fast-forward to June this year and Molly was the keynote speaker at the 2022 Accor Stadium Members’ Dinner and she held a room of 500-plus Stadium Members and celebrity guests transfixed as she told of her experiences and her journey from sick teenager to awe-inspiring fundraising warrior.
“My diagnosis and the many surgeries and treatments that have since followed changed who I was forever. I was no longer the sporty girl who played representative netball, basketball and hockey. But you know what? I am one of the lucky ones, I am still here, and I will forever be grateful for that,” Molly told our Members.
Molly has become a regular at events and functions at Accor Stadium. She has also become a fundraising machine, starting Molly’s Mission that raised $186,000 for Ronald McDonald House Greater Western Sydney, which stands next to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. It’s where Molly has spent more than 350 nights over the past four years.
She also started The Tie-Dye Project where Molly and her friends this Christmas will tie-dye 2,500 T-shirts and 250 netball bibs with the aim of raising $100,000 for research into childhood sarcoma. www.thetiedyeproject.com
But her great charity love is for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation and its Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
“They saved my life and I will be forever grateful,” says Molly. “Whatever you can give to the Light Up Christmas appeal, please do, as it really will make Christmas that little bit brighter for kids doing it tough at this special time of year.”
In the spirit of Christmas, Accor Stadium’s General Manager of Membership and Customer Insights, George Perry, this week handed over a cheque for $23,700 to the Sydney Children’s Hospital. There to receive it in front of the Great Southern Screen carrying the logos of the Foundation and the Hospital were tireless Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation executives, Lisa WoolfJones and Michal Cohen-Noble. Their passion for their work is there for all to see.
This year’s funds from Members will go toward Clinical Trials in Oncology for Childhood Cancers at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead . . . a cause close to our hearts on the back of our journey with young Molly Croft.
In coming days, the Accor Stadium Christmas Tree will go up and Staff, Members and guests will Christmas-wrap gifts for kids at the Hospital.
But the easiest way to contribute to the Light Up Christmas appeal is to purchase a Virtual Bauble via the QR code made available by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation. The link is here.
“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”
Scan the QR code to donate to our Light Up Christmas campaign for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.