A team of volunteers from Navy Headquarters Tasmania joined other Tasmanian community groups to help run the 17th Annual Special Children’s Christmas Party at the Derwent Entertainment Centre yesterday.
The Tasmanian event was one of 16 similar events conducted in every Australian state and territory, New Zealand and Canada. Children with physical, intellectual or terminal illnesses and disadvantaged children from all over Tasmania were invited to the party with coaches loaded with excited children arriving from 11am.
To ensure all was in readiness, the NHQ Tasmania team were at the Derwent Entertainment Centre much earlier, erecting marquees, decorating the toy room and preparing Santa’s grotto.
The Navy team members were then assigned other tasks such as managing the queues at the venue entrance, for the jumping castle and other rides, as well as stage-managing the entertainment
which included acts like the Wolfe Brothers and Lisa Gorman (Home and Away) as a prelude to the arrival of the jolly bearded chap in the red suit.
Commanding Officer of NHQ Tasmania, Commander Stacey Porter and Leading Seaman Jennifer Langley scored the ‘plum’ job of staffing the ice-cream stall.
The event manager, Sarah Crosland, said that this year’s Special Children’s Christmas Party was a great success with over 1500 children attending.
“I am extremely grateful to the 100-plus volunteers who set up displays, handed out toys and helped cater for the event.
“It's a huge united effort to give children in these circumstances a happy day they will treasure always,” she said.
Ms Crosland was delighted with the Navy team’s effort being amongst the first to arrive to ensure everything was in place before the children arrived.
“The generosity shown by the Navy team and all of our volunteers reflect the true spirit of Christmas,” Ms Crosland said.