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Telethon 2012 sets record
The final Telethon 2012 total is announced. Picture: Michael Wilson / The West Australian

UPDATE: Telethon 2012 has closed in spectacular fashion, with a record $16,805,622 raised over the weekend event.

Since 1968, Telethon has notched up more than $133 million to help improve the lives of children in WA.

Last year’s total was $13,473,159.

On Saturday night, a mystery donor pledged $1 per tweet for Telethon over the 26 hours. Later, it was revealed the donor was The McCusker Charitable Foundation. The donation increased the total by $1 million.

In the closing minutes of the televised event, Seven West Media executive chairman Kerry Stokes handed host Basil Zempilas a cheque for $1 million on behalf of Australian Capital Equity.

Celebrities including Molly Meldrum and Brynne Edelsten charmed fans during the 45th Telethon weekend.

By 4.30pm on Sunday, the Telethon tally had reached more than $8 million.

Among the TV personalities who flocked to Perth for the fundraising event were Home and Away heart-throb Dan Ewing, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, George Houvardas from Packed to the Rafters, Sunrise host Melissa Doyle and Rob Palmer from Better Homes and Gardens, who have delighted Telethon fans with their energy and support for a worthy cause.

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Perth-raised star Johnny Ruffo, who has scored a role in TV soap Home and Away, has kept viewers entertained with various live performances throughout the weekend.

Ruffo and fellow entertainers Justice Crew and Reece Mastin have proved popular, with Mastin closing the event in front of a rapturous crowd.

Legendary performer Sir Elton John also delighted fans with his live show last night.

When it was announced that John would open Perth Arena, the star promised "an unforgettable opening night to celebrate this stunning building".

And he did not disappoint.

John stepped in for his friend George Michael after the latter cancelled the Australian leg of his world tour and plans to open the Arena.

Fans were thrilled with John's opening-night show, which included hits Tiny Dancer, Candle in the Wind, Crocodile Rock and I'm Still Standing.

He even supported Telethon with a live cross to his Arena show, during which he urged people to support the fundraising effort for Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and performed two songs for Telethon viewers.

Visit telethon7perth.com.au/.