Fremantle’s Starlight Purple Haze fundraising has once again been given a great head start thanks to the generosity of the Dowson Family and the Kalgoorlie community. 

Nearly 300 people attended an annual fundraiser in early March at the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club, raising more than $75,000 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Starlight’s aim is to help improve the lives of seriously ill children and their families and it’s a cause the Freo-supporting Haylie Dowson and her family have been behind since 2009.

“Our lives have been enriched by the support of Fremantle Football Club firstly introducing us to the opportunity to fundraise for Starlight,” Dowson said. 

“Then our own daughter became unwell when she was six and she has a life-long disease. Now we know first-hand the value of Starlight from a totally different perspective, as they provide such an amazing release when we are in Perth going through regular treatments and procedures.”

Dowson said the idea of the evening was to give parents a fun night out, highlighting how many parents of sick children often don’t get such opportunities.

“We understand personally what it’s like to have a child that is in need of special care, so it’s unusual that Phil and I both get to go out. That’s why the fundraiser is based around the parents to have a night out,” Dowson said.

“It’s about coming together and having a nice time with like-minded people for a good cause, and everyone was overwhelmingly generous.

“We had some live auction items with signed jumpers and Aaron Sandilands’ boots, which are always a hit here. We had a local artist who drew some pictures that encompassed the Starlight Star and her sketch went for almost $1000.”

Dowson said that the visit to the Starlight Express Room often provides the highlight of the trip from Kalgoorlie to Perth Children’s Hospital. 

“Our daughter loves hanging out with the Starlight Captains, as that’s what makes her happy,” Dowson said.

“She goes through everything she needs to do and knows the reward will be to see the captains, and that’s where the smiles come from.

“From our point of view, it’s an amazing facility. It allows you to switch off from everything medical while you’re there, you don’t have to think about the next procedure or anything else. Everything is transformed into a nice, fun and calm environment.”