Santa Claus Pub Crawl’s plan to help Wollongong become Australia’s home of Santa in 2019 is attracting immediate corporate support with retail chain Lowes quick to throw its support behind Santa Fest.
Lowes isn’t waiting until the name change and first three day long festival in 2019. It is generously giving to the charity parters of the December 8 event.
Neil Webster said for many years people have shopped at Lowes for Santa shirts and other festive gear for the night.
“People are always looking for new costumes to wear to Santa Claus Pub Crawl. The weather gets so hot in Australia wearing a traditional red suit can get a bit overbearing. So when this range of shirts came out at Lowes a couple of years ago we noticed an increase in the number of participants wearing them”.
“And buying them from family owned Lowes makes it even more of an Australian Christmas theme. They have essentially turned an Hawaiian shirt into an Aussie Christmas shirt instead.”
It has also created an Aussie surfing Santa look. Lowes wanted to give back after seeing how much money is rasied annually for the Salvo’s and other charities.
Area manager Greg Lamond said Lowes was so impressed with the community nature of the event that attracts more than 10,000 people from the Illawarra and beyond it wanted to give its profits to the cause.
This year all Illawarra, Shoalhaven and many Sydney stores are donating 20 per cent of every sale made to Santa Claus Pub Crawl participants to its charity partners.
Mr Lamond has worked for the family run national business for 30 years and said Lowes knows the value of community.
“The number of Aussie Christmas shirts we sell grows every year because of the Santa Claus Pub Crawl. And we want to give back because of all the extra business they have given us,” he said.
The rebate to pub crawl charity partners applies to anything bought for the event. All participants need to do is use the codeword SantaFest when making their purchase.
Mr Webster said the other charities the pub crawl is supporting are The Disability Trust and the Disabled Service. Money raised this year is going to kids based programs in the Illawarra.
“Each of the charities we donate to has children’s based needs and programs and that is the idea of the Santa Claus Pub Crawl. It is Christmas time so this is about all our Santa’s giving back to kids in the community. It was fantastic when Lowes contacted me and said they wanted to do this. To know we have a national organisation willing to contribute and help us grown into a Santa Fest festival fits into the objectives behind the event. Which is giving back to the community.
“We are very pleased to have them on board and we are looking forward to working with them not only this year but into the future. As Santa Claus Pub Crawl migrates into its new format as Santa Fest we will have more family based activities involved including the Christmas Carols and a charity family bike ride. And the clothing Lowes offers will appeal to a lot of family members as well. Which means will raise even more funds to go back into the community.”
Lowes has for many decades provided uniforms for local schools so it already has a connection with many Illawarra families.
Lowes is also celebrating 120 years in retail.