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Good Friday Appeal launched

BTV: Good Friday Appeal Launch Essendon attended the 2019 launch for the Good Friday Appeal at the Royal Children's Hospital.
It’s an honour and it’s a privilege for us to be able to play on this special day."
Xavier Campbell

Essendon Football Club has joined forces with The Royal Children’s Hospital to launch the 2019 Good Friday Appeal on Thursday.

Senior coach John Worsfold, club legend Kevin Sheedy and CEO Xavier Campbell were all proud to be in attendance at the launch ahead of the club’s involvement in the Kick for the Kids match against North Melbourne on Good Friday.

Entering its 88th year, the appeal has raised more than $345 million for the hospital and its special patients since its inception in 1931 and Campbell said the club is thrilled to play a role in the annual fundraiser this year.

“It’s an honour and it’s a privilege for us to be able to play on this special day,” Campbell said on Thursday.

“In some respects, it’s a bit like ANZAC Day – you sit second to what is a more major initiative, cause and fundraiser and it’s important for our society.

“This is such an incredible hospital and such an incredible cause. To be able to play some sort of a role on the day to increase awareness and raise further funds is something we’re really excited about.”

Campbell, who has two young children, said the many stories at the hospital put football and life into perspective.

“It sharpens your focus on life, health and bigger purpose when you have children. My children have been going here to daycare for a number of years now and you see a lot of children who have been impacted, you see their families, and it does hit home.

“Football is great, it’s a privilege for us to play, (but) it’s a sport. This is real, this is people’s lives.

“The fact that (hospital staff) invest so much in trying to help people…through some of the most challenging moments in their lives, for us to be able to play a role in helping raise awareness for that and increase the fundraising is really important.

He urged Essendon’s passionate fans to throw their support behind the appeal and help contribute to the brilliant cause.

“This facility here is one of the best children’s hospitals in the world and it’s something we should be very, very proud of, but it’s not something we should take for granted.

“The more money we raise, the more we can increase specialist care to ensure that we deliver positive outcomes for a broader range of children across this state.”