While Christmas is a time of joy and giving, fun and festivities, for many Bayside families they can find this time of year particularly challenging hardships due to their individual circumstances. For the fourth year in a row
Thanks to the support of Brighton and Hampton Rotary Clubs, Hampton RSL, Bayside City Council, Bayside Youth Services, Country Women’s Association and members of Victoria Police, plus generous donations from Bendigo Bank – Highett Community Bank Branch, Christmas Kingdom, St Leonard’s College community, Rossdale, St Kilda Football Club, Bunnings and EP Group, vulnerable families who usually do it tougher than most at this time of year, with pre- and school aged kids (Under 16 years old) were able to join in some Christmas cheer.
BayCISS, Family Life, Bayside Council Enhanced Maternal Child Health and Connect Health invited their service users to forget about their troubles for a while with activities, entertainment and a good hearty Christmas meal. This event is a true collaboration, with local volunteers from a variety of organisations and service groups, spreading Christmas Cheer by volunteering time, funds and expertise with event planning, traditional fare and games/activities in a community atmosphere with their loved ones.
There was fun for young and old with face painting, arts and crafts, some live music entertainment, plus outdoor activities such as lawn bowls, giant Jenga, footy. Local State MP James Newbury and Goldstein MP Tim Wilson interrupted busy schedules to join in the festivities. A lovely traditional Christmas dinner (Holyrood Bistro) was served up to one and all, then followed by a stampede of young reindeer bringing in a very special guest in his resplendent red suit. With a twinkle in his eye, Santa was able to reward the good girls and boys (and their carers) with some early Christmas gifts. As there was a bounty of gifts, there were also donations made to the St Kilda Mums and Sacred Heart Mission to spread the Christmas cheer.
The event would not have been possible without the hard work and contributions of many behind the scenes – a shout out and thanks to Arran Ferguson, Bill (Choc) Mirabito, Jan Eriksen, Eddie McGarry, Rhonda Pincott, Anthea Standish, Christine Lindsey, Erica Bredon, Ann Smith, Karyn Doyle, Shannon Marmion, Emma Pristov, Brian Kirk, Susan Quattrocchi, Peter Malloy, Madi and Alba, Liam Taylor, Amelie Taylor, Hampton RSL volunteers, Anne Fogerty and the ladies from the Country Women’s Association. Thanks also to Victoria Police from Bayside and Moorabbin who attended, as well as Senior Sergeant Andrew Gardner, from the Victoria Police Leadership Mentoring Program 2019/20. Thank you to all and to all we hope you had a very Merry Christmas a great New Year!