It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Our first round-up of community events for this festive season

Santa photos with a real local feel
Family pictures with Santa have always been a Christmas tradition in Australia, but over the last few years they have also become great fundraisers for community organisations, particularly surf clubs.

Rather than sterile shopping centre backgrounds, Santa meets the families down at the beach or on the farm in Jamberoo Public School’s case.

This year Kiama Downs Surf Club has made the process even easier, by giving people the chance to have the photos taken on their own phones, so they can do what they want with them. Each session with Santa costs $10, with all proceeds going to the Club.

“192 sessions across four days booked out in under six hours,” says Keryn Calcraft.

“We aren’t taking any more bookings, but are offering people the chance to walk in on the day and take their chances.”

They are extending the fundraising by having a cake stall, opening the bar upstairs and having a band play on the Sundays.

Jamberoo Public School is offering families a chance to meet Santa on his tractor at a Jamberoo farm.

“Not only will it be a great experience for the kids, you’ll be supporting a local school, in keeping with the spirit of community,” says Nicole Reilly.

For $20, you’ll receive digital images of your photos ready for print or use on social media for Christmas.

Details:
Kiama Downs SLC
24 November, 1 December, 7 December and 8 December
Walk-ins accepted 2-5pm. Payments made on the day by cash or card.
Jamberoo PS
1 Dec, 7 Dec or 8 Dec
Book your place for photos at jamberoopandc.com.au
Note – Gerringong and Kiama SLSCs are also doing Santa photos but the dates were not available at time of publication. Check their facebook pages.

Online trees
Minnamurra Public School P&C Association is again inviting people to order fresh-cut Christmas trees as a way of helping them raise much needed funding for the school.

Now in its fourth year, the annual fundraiser is a hit with local families, with 100 trees being sourced from a local farm in the Southern Highlands and sold at the school each year.

“We love helping local families to get a fresh-cut tree from a local sustainable farm, bringing nature into their homes each Christmas,” says P&C President, Frances Wood.

“Importantly, the money they spend is staying in the community, with 100% of profits used to support Minnamurra Public School students.”

This year the funds raised will go towards a campaign aiming to raise $14,000 for a Stemshare robotics kit, 3D printer and iPad to support science, technology, engineering and maths education at the school.

You get to choose from 6, 7 or 8 foot trees, at $60-$80 each.

Details: To place an order by the cut off of 2 December, phone Mick on 0412 819 197 or find Minnamurra Public School on http://www.flexischools.com.au
The trees will be available for collection from the School on Saturday 7 December, 8-10am.

Toy Drive
In addition to the Mayoral Christmas Tree, the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, has launched his annual Christmas Toy Drive.

“Christmas is a time of celebration and relaxing with our loved ones. Sadly however, there are still some local children and young people facing disadvantage at this special time of year,” he says.

“This Christmas Toy Drive is about coming together to help spread some Christmas joy to hundreds of disadvantaged children and young people across the Illawarra and South Coast region.

“Over the past few years, my office has been overwhelmed by the generosity of local residents and small businesses who have kindly donated a wide variety of toys and gifts, and I really hope that it can continue this Christmas.”

All gifts donated will be provided to the Albion Park Youth and Community Care Inc. prior to Christmas Day.

Details: New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at his electorate office at 102 Terralong Street until 5pm on Thursday 19 December.

Carols in the Park
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the carol singing held in various parks across our villages.

The Kiama Community Carols in the Park is the only one we have details of at the moment.

For the third year in a row, popular children’s entertainer Colin Buchanan is coming back for a fun and interactive performance.

The night will also feature a visit from Santa, school choirs and local artists.

Should wet weather try and spoil the plans, the carols will be relocated to the Kiama Pavilion.

Details: Wednesday 11 December, Hindmarsh Park, 7-9pm.

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