The Tamahere Christmas Festival has been a resounding success – raising big funds for charity, attracting significant numbers of happy customers and winning praise for the quality of its unique crafts.
And the call to recycle Christmas – for resources to make next year’s decorations and gifts is already being made.
“Don’t throw tired or unwanted Christmas decorations in the landfill. Let us re-purpose them,” said craft group member Gail Blackwell.
The festival group has already thrilled its recipient charities, Kids First Whanau Centre and True Colours, with notice of $7000 donations each.
And $2000 was raised from the sale of morning and afternoon teas, which will go to the Hamilton Combined Christian Foodbank.
“We’re so pleased to be able to support out charities with these donations,” Blackwell said.
“We want to thank our community for their support,” she said. “Being open for an extra week this year was well worth while.
“It’s so special to be able to continue the festival into its fourth decade and get such a lot of lovely feedback from people who come as a family tradition or who remember times coming with parents or others who have passed on.
“We had people visit from all over the Waikato, Tauranga, Papakura, Rotorua and as far away as Greytown.
“People especially commented on the quality and uniqueness of the crafts. They also liked buying knowing that they were supporting charities.”
And the charities were bowled over by the size of the donation, which was significantly up on last year’s $4400 each to Kids First and True Colours, and $1300 to the foodbank.
“You can’t begin to imagine what it felt like to receive your [donation advice] email …. some tears in my eyes,” said Karen Morrison-Hume, chief executive of Anglican Action.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this incredible gift to Kids First Whanau Centre. You have truly made the end of this year a high point!”
Kids First is a residential programme for women and children that offers a place of safety, support and education.
True Colours, which provides support to children and their families in the times of grief of a chronic, life-limiting or life-threatening illness, was also thrilled by the donation.
The festival group’s thoughts have already turned to another year of craft making. Anyone taking down Christmas decorations which have seen better days can pass them on to be given new life at the clever hands of group members.
Donations are especially appreciated of beads, buttons, ribbons, lace, bric a brac, knitting and crochet yarn (wool or acrylic), material pieces, silk flowers, semi used candles and tree decorations.
The group welcomes new members. They meet on Thursdays to use their creative talents to make Christmas decorations and crafts for the festival. People can go along when it suits during the day anytime between 9.30am and 4pm.
To donate resources or inquire about joining the group contact Gail Blackwell on 022-600-3345, Val Nixon on 07 868130 or 021-169-9576 or Bev Ballinger 07 8464040 or 021-499-989
The group was also grateful for the support from Hillcrest New World, Tamahere Four Square, Punnet and DB Signs Tauriko.