Sunday, January 31, 2010

Christmas Cheer for our Children

- Abbie Leeraar -

As the 500-odd young children supported by the BADISA soup kitchen lined up outside the Baptist Church hall in North End one morning in December last year with their caretakers, they had no idea what was in store for them inside. Nor did the many curious onlookers who gathered around to see what was happening at the hall.

Apools, the church caretaker, along with Ben of Neighbourhood Watch and even the police were on hand to make sure that all wentand according to plan.Meanwhile, inside the hall the ladies of the Thursday Group had been busy preparing for the Christmas Party with whichwere going to surprise the children. It took a while before all the children were inside and seated in their different groups, but once everybody had their place, the festivities began.

Delene Coetzee had kindly lent us her Christmas tree for the occasion and as it shone in the sunlight and set the mood, the children listened in awe as Melissa from BADISA explained to them why they were there and what awaited them for the next two hours.

Brian Finch started the fun by singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and once everybody (including Ione Auerswald!) was clapping and singing along, Bodo Toelstede dressed in his clown costume, performed some amazing feats of magic and other tricks.

All the activity made people hungry, so next on the agenda were hotdogs (thanks to the O.K. Bazaars for donating the rolls), cooldrink, and ice-cream.

Refreshed, the next thing that happened was the appearance of Father Christmas (alias Jeffrey Armoed of the Municipality). Angela Ashworth had managed to track him down and persuaded him to give of his time and energy to the party.

Dressed in the red suit with all the trimmings he did a really wonderful job, giving the children a talk about the spirit of Christmas and handing out a packet of sweets prepared by the Thursday Group members, to each child. They also received a present of fruit donated by Herman Olivier. And so the party came to end, with each child greetedFather Christmas at the door, with good wishes for the Christmas season.

It all started with the ideathe finance from a kind benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous - but asked the Thursday Group if they would organise a party for the children. This was the first time the ladies had organised such a big event. It required a lot of organisation, time, energy, good will and generosity which all the people mentioned (and more) kindly gave in order to help us make the party the success it was.

Thank you! Your gifts were well received and much appreciated.

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