By Toni Kerr
Posted: 4 December 2014
For the second year in a row, Plimmerton Rotary held the Xmas Party for primary school-aged children from Porirua East at Te Rauparaha Arena. Logistically, the transport arrangements were relatively seamless and we got the children and their caregivers to the venue safely, on time and in good spirits (having led the kids through a series of carols to get them into the Xmas spirit!).
While we hit a bit of a snag with a “no show” by the Kelly Sports people, our local police officers and recruits came with an abundance of leadership and organisational skills that saved the day – taking the children through a range of fun-filled games and activities (sans equipment). This certainly fostered the positive image that we have all recognised as a key benefit from this important annual event.
The rest of the format was largely unchanged from past years with a show from local act, Harry the Clown. The audience was highly animated and vocal suggesting this remains a favourite with the children.
Again our men and women in blue came to our aid, keeping the children entertained while lunch was being prepared.
Throughout the event, there was an undertone of excitement about the imminent arrival of Santa and possibility of a gift. Every one of the 35 children in attendance received a personalised gift matched to their name, age and gender.
Despite the highly charged environment, most children reacted to their gifts in an uncharacteristically controlled way, reflecting, I believe, a combination of elation,
enjoyment and awe. The smiling faces and looks of wonderment remain for me the most rewarding parts of the day.
When it was time to go, the children were marched to the bus in an orderly fashion. Our Police were alongside us all the way and received a rousing farewell from
This year the Police deserve special recognition as their contribution was undoubtedly a key ingredient to the success of the event and reminded us of the positive impact that making connections with our community can have.