WITH no financial backing, organisers of Mayor Tim Shadbolt’s Christmas Lunch are looking to the community for help to bring some magic into the lives of those less fortunate this Christmas.
“Everyone should get behind this because Christmas is magic. If there is no sparkle in it, there is no magic,” co-organiser Teressa Laughton said.
Ms Laughton and Lynda Howard are organising the Mayor’s Christmas lunch for the second time. The reason?
“[The guests] wouldn’t have Christmas without us,” they said.
Up to 180 guests, including those nominated by 16 Southland agencies, such as The Salvation Army, Invercargill Women’s Refuge and Age Concern, were expected to attend the function at the Scottish Hall on Christmas Day.
“[The guests] are the people of Invercargill who have not had such a good year,” Ms Howard said.
“We want to give them a good memory for Christmas.”
The event involved a Christmas lunch, entertainment and gifts for the children. Mr Shadbolt would attend to welcome the guests and join in the festivities and Santa Claus would also make an appearance to hand out presents.
Ms Howard said they did not have any funding, so they were trying to raise the estimated $2500 needed for the meal and to buy gifts for the children attending the event.
This was the fourth time Mr Shadbolt had hosted the Christmas function.
Mr Shadbolt said he would continue to host the event as long as the community supported it.
“It is totally reliant on volunteers and donations, which are the two critical factors,” he said.
“We get tremendous feedback from the people who attend it. People are just so thankful and appreciative.
“That is what makes it worthwhile in my mind.”
A Facebook page entitled ‘Mayor Tim Shadbolt’s Christmas Lunch’ had been set up to sell donated items to raise money to buy the presents.
If people wanted to donate presents, they could drop them off to the Invercargill City Council offices on Esk St until 5pm on Friday, December 21.
Ms Howard said they also needed entertainers to perform on the day and volunteers to help set up the tables ahead of the event.
Some of the businesses/organisations which were supporting the event included Plaza Supervalue, Bowmont Wholesale Meats, The Grand Hotel, Cornerstone Church, Rogers Motorcycles, Trimbles Hair Design, Bronze Connection and Nulook Southland.