June 27, 1981. Telethon LIVE at the Auckland Town Hall, with ‘I Hear Your Hand’. Introduced by Pernell Roberts – an American film star of the time, the popular Sign Singers were the opening act of 1981 Telethon, and the very first to contribute a donation with a $150.00 cheque presented by the group. The 1981 Telethon was for International Year of the Disabled and the event raised over $5 million for charities. Dresses were created by Dulcie McKie, who had an early career as a seamstress.