Kleenheat’s been proud to partner with Telethon Community Cinemas since 2010, supporting local fundraising efforts to make life easier for kids in a health or physical crisis.
We caught up with Ken Gibbons to learn more about how Telethon Community Cinemas started.
The founding of Perth’s most affordable outdoor cinema experience.
Telethon Community Cinemas (originally Movies by Burswood Inc.) began as both a fundraising platform and way to contribute back to the community.
After taking a break between running his own business, and looking for a new opportunity to pursue in the fundraising space, Ken ventured to one of Perth’s outdoor cinemas (at the time) and found the experience less than ideal.
Coming from an involvement in the cinematic industry during his university years, and combining his interest in fundraising initiatives, he decided to combine both his interests into a new experience, Movies by Burswood Inc., which later became Telethon Community Cinemas.
Ken’s interest in fundraising began at an early age. During his schooling days he experienced bullying due of his stutter, which he has maintained into adulthood.
Being subjected to bullying made a lasting impression on Ken. Over the years he has been involved in various fundraising initiatives for groups and programs with the goal of helping others avoid going through the same experience.
“As a kid with a stutter, like a lot of people going through the same sort of process, I went through hard times at school, so that became the reason or the rationale of why we raised the funds.”
Fundraising into the millions
The Telethon Community Cinemas made a slow but steady start towards fundraising efforts, but have since made a great contribution to the local community.
The cinemas raise funds for seven major beneficiaries, and have over the years, supported many others including schools, clubs and charities.
“In our first seven years we raised one million dollars, total. In our 20 years we’ve raised ten and a half.”
The cost of running an outdoor cinema
The Telethon Community Cinemas raise approximately $600, 000 each year and it goes to their main beneficiaries as well as approximately 30 organisations.
The cinemas cost around $1.2 million to run across the four locations, and so the event aims to raise at least $1.8 million, to maintain their fundraising goals.
While Ken’s role has always been heavily involved in running the day-to-day of the outdoor cinema experience, his workload is now shared with a reliable team of 500 -700 volunteers a season.
“We don’t have any paid staff at screenings. A volunteer opens the gates and a volunteer shuts the gates and runs everything in between.”
Despite being involved for over twenty years, the five month event still sees Ken attending regularly, if not daily, despite the volunteer help he has on board; .”… In the early days I was here pretty much every evening and seeing people depart at the end of the night happy smiling, and being aware that we help thousands and thousands of kids, that’s really the reward.”
Volunteer with Telethon Community Cinemas
Thinking of a way to give back to your local community? Consider volunteering with the Telethon Community Cinemas team. The application requirements are simple according to Ken. “…Quite a few people don’t have the spare cash to donate to organisations, but they do have spare time. We only ask they have a good heart and a smile.”
To join the volunteering team, head to communitycinemas.com.au.
Want to experience it for yourself?
The experience is not only about raising funds for local charity groups, but also having a great time, and a unique experience, in WA’s long summery evenings.
“Our emphasis is on everyone, all ages, having the opportunity to socialise and picnic together before watching the films. Everyone can bring pillows and blankets or hire a bean bag, get comfortable and if any of the kids get tired, they can sleep whilst parents enjoy the night.”
Over ten years of supporting Telethon Community Cinemas
As WA’s local energy provider, we’re committed to supporting the communities where we operate and helping local organisations and charities do great things across Western Australia and Northern Territory.
Our partnerships span grassroots initiatives through to state-wide programs, each focusing on making a difference in the community.
Telethon Community Cinemas screens from four venues; Bassendean, Burswood, Murdoch University and ECU Joondalup Pines, between November and April each year.
Value that flows through your household and community
Everyone enjoys value for money. We focus on providing value for our customers and our local community. Our ongoing value is passed on to you through our partnerships with RAC, Flybuys and Seniors Card WA. Plus, access a variety of offers and rewards that come with sponsoring the local events you love.
Plus, our Community Grants program supports local groups and organisations doing great things in communities across the Northern Territory and regional Western Australia.
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We believe there’s value in choosing local, so if you’re not a Kleenheat customer choose local today and let life flow.
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