The highlight of many childrens' year, the annual KidzWish Christmas Party, is being held at Symbio Wildlife Park this Thursday.
The day is being made possible with the help of Symbio's pay-it-forward Dine & Discover initiatives where members of the community donated their discover vouchers to KidzWish to help cover the costs of putting on the event.
The Disability Trust/KidzWish events and fundraising coordinator Emily Wright said 600 children with special needs will get to enjoy a special day with the animals and Santa on Thursday.
"We have 1000 guests attending when you include parents and carers," she said.
"We had to plan it not knowing what the COVID restrictions would be in early December. We thought if we limit it to 1000 we should safely be able to go ahead.
"We are really glad we can put it on because so many children and their families look forward to it every year.
"They children will each receive a t-shirt, a toy and a goodie bag thanks to a lot of support from so many local businesses. And every child will get a lunch pack.
"There will be a toy collection area where the children will have an opportunity to look at the toys and choose which one they would like.
"And Symbio and the community's generosity is allowing KidzWish to host the event without using funds intended for other purposes to support Illawarra children and their families.
Gates open at 10am and the day will include many activities, roving entertainers as well as 45 minute stage shows at 11.15am and 1.15pm.
Santa will also be there for some truly Aussie Christmas photos with children who are unable to have one taken with Santa at local shopping centres.
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