There was no way 4300 children with a sickness, disability or disadvantage were going to miss out on seeing Santa at the 15th annual KidzWish Christmas Party on Thursday.
Chris Beaven and Leo Lagana enlisted some super support to make sure Santa found the children.
The caped crusader Batman was tasked with finding and escorting Santa to the venue in time to provide a big climax to the annual party.
After arriving in the Bat Mobile early in the day, the crime fighting superhero started by helping Sunrise and its weatherman Sam Mac surprise Mrs Beaven with a $7000 donation from Australia Post for being a Suburban Superstar.
“This will help us immensely. The costs get more every year as we help more kids. This is fantastic,” she said.
The 15th annual KidzWish Christmas Party saw 4300 children enjoy an action-packed day of fun, love and laughter with their carers at no cost to the families.
It was all fully funded by donations and sponsorships which allowed each child to receive a toy, lunch and three hours of entertainment.
Many were having a break from hospital or therapy just to attend the event that also provided some valuable respite for their families. Around 69 per cent of children attending had a disability, 24 per cent were disadvantaged and 7.0 per cent suffered from an illness. The one thing they all had in common was they were all local kids who deserve the same opportunities many take for granted.
A number of the children already knew each other from KidzWish programs. And there were smiles all round on the very special day of the year.
For Zenah Muller and her two children Zavier and Scarlett Collins it was all new.
“This is our first KidzWish. It has been excellent. I just love it here. It has been very inclusive,” Ms Muller said.
She was invited to bring her children last week when she was told about it at their Port Kembla Public school. Zavier said the best moment for him was Ronald McDonald’s arrival. But sister Scarlett said “I liked it when Batman and Santa appeared”.
For Mrs Beaven the Once Upon a Time theme party was a celebration of 15 years of making a difference in many young lives.
Seeing all the children turn out dressed for the occasion with big smiles reminded her and the KidzWish team why they love working so hard.
Along with the annual Christmas Party KidzWish helps Illawarra and South Coast children who are sick, disadvantaged or have a disability by providing them with speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and music, dance, sports and experience programs.