The first Talithan Family Festival was a huge success, attracting 25,000 people at the Opt Putts Stadium.

The first Talithan Family Festival was a huge success, attracting 25,000 people at the Opt Putts Stadium.

Thousands flocked to the West Asi Optus Stadium for the Telethon Family Festival.

Despite the heat, some 25,000 people descended on the stadium, enjoying stage performances and rides in a makeshift side show street.

Camera iconDemi Skinner, a tick tock star with 2.2 million followers, performs with hoops at the Telithon Family Festival at Optus Stadium. Credit: Russell will/West Australian

Some, like four-year-old Willow Davis, also managed a quick round of bows with the Channel 7 icon, Fat Cat.

But under the guise of fun, the serious business of raising funds for sick WA children was in full swing.

Children enjoy the festivities at the Telithon Family Festival at Perth's U.S. Pitts Stadium.
Camera iconChildren enjoy the festivities at the Telithon Family Festival at Perth’s U.S. Pitts Stadium. Credit: Russell will/West Australian

Rugby League great Matt Fuller led a record 37 spinning bikes for his annual telethon challenge, amassing more than 2 1.2 million over the past 12 years.

Matt Fuller at the Telethon Family Festival at Perth's Opt Putts Stadium.
Camera iconMatt Fuller at the Telethon Family Festival at Perth’s Opt Putts Stadium. Credit: Russell will/West Australian

The six-hour challenge this year, typically less than 24 hours, he was unlikely to cause medical issues in previous years – including shoulder reconstruction and six months of pins and needles in his legs.

But despite the short frame, his giving campaign did not slow down.

Picture (front) Maize Lewis-Reese and class act performers pose before taking to the stage at the Telithon Family Festival at Optus Stadium.
Camera iconPictured (front) Corn Lewis-Rees and Class Act performers pose before taking to the stage at the Telithon Family Festival at Optus Stadium. Credit: Russell will/West Australian
Crowds line up to enter the Telithon Family Festival at Opt Pitts Stadium.
Camera iconCrowds line up to enter the Telithon Family Festival at Opt Pitts Stadium. Credit: Russell will/West Australian

“It’s a new place and a new format, but it’s the same old passion, mate,” Fuller said. “We want to raise as much money as we can for the sick children of WA and the atmosphere is amazing.

“Everyone is united and it has been adopted by the WA.”

To donate, 1300 737 507 or Click here.

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Will Smith

About the author: Will Smith

Alfred Lee covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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