THE annual 3BO Give Me 5 for Kids Appeal is off to a cracking start - with $18,000 raised so far.
The radio station's major appeal runs for the entire month of June and money goes to Bendigo Health's Paediatric Unit, which provides care to thousands of babies, children and teens across the Loddon Mallee region.
Major events so far included a tin rattle on Saturday at the city centre and a fundraiser by the Bendigo Dragons, which saw entrance fees to Saturday night's gridiron game donated to the cause.
Promotions co-ordinator at 3BO, Jessica Elsley, said 10 local businesses were involved in this year's fundraiser.
She said the major event was a telethon to be held on Friday, from which the station was hoping to raise $100,000.
"Bendigo's never really done anything like that but we thought it would be a good time to test it out," she said.
"We've had a lot of people ring in and say they want to help out."
She said the telethon would take place from 6am until 6pm at Bendigo Bank and announcers would read out the names of people who contributed every hour.
She said if people wanted to volunteer on the day they should get in contact with the station.
Bendigo Health Foundation director Jane Anderson said money from this year's appeal would be used to fund a theatre resuscitation cot for newborn babies, cardiotocography monitors, which measure the fetal heartbeat, a large vital signs monitor and other vital equipment for the ward.
She said the hospital was grateful to the station for its assistance.
"They really help people have that opportunity to give, so we can provide resources to improve our children's services across Bendigo Health," she said.
"We're just happy to receive whatever they make."
This is the seventh year the appeal has run in Bendigo and 3BO is aiming to raise $125,000. Last year Give Me 5 For Kids raised almost $2.5 million nationwide.
The fundraiser was launched by Austereo in the 1990s and has raised more than $12 million since it began.
More than 30 Austereo regional radio stations are taking part.