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Starship'sFestive Forest Still On


DATE December 11, 2002

Still time to visit spectacular Festive Forest at Bruce Mason Centre

The foyer of Takapuna's Bruce Mason Centre has been transformed into a spectacular display of Christmas trees and festive activities during December and is continuing to attract hundreds of visitors daily.

Known as The Festive Forest, the festival has been organised by Friends of Starship North Shore. Its focal point is a stunning array of traditional and contemporary Christmas trees decorated by local companies and organisations. The display continues to capture the essence of Christmas for all who visit.

A gold coin donation is requested, and money raised goes towards Friends of Starship North Shore's fundraising campaign to equip Starship Children's Hospital with an urgently-needed, $2.7million Bi-Plane X-Ray machine for children with heart problems.

Chairperson of Friends of Starship North Shore Liz Darlow says: "Every person who visits and donates a gold coin is not only being treated to a beautiful display of trees and a range of Christmas activities, but they are also playing a part in saving the life of a heart kid."

About 400 heart kids are admitted to Starship each year and Mrs Darlow says 'this dream machine will truly make a difference to their young lives'.

The X-Ray machine is a vital diagnostic and treatment tool for heart kids, dramatically reducing their length of stay in hospital and, in many cases, reducing the risks associated with open heart surgery.

Mrs Darlow says from the moment the lights were first switched on at the special tree lighting ceremony on December 1, people showed their delight and were exceptionally generous.

"Every tree is different. Some are decorated with all the tradition of Christmas and others reflect a really modern theme. Those who haven't visited the display yet should really try to do so before it closes at 2pm on December 20," Mrs Darlow says.

Also at The Festive Forest are wide variety of Christmas activities for children and adults including a Christmas Wish Tree where people can hang their special wishes, a raffle for a Bumper Christmas Hamper, a school holiday programme running each day between 10 and 3pm and free musical entertainment and activities for all the family.

Mrs Darlow says the success of The Festive Forest has been largely due to the support of the North Shore community including the people who have visited, Bruce Mason Centre, the entertainment groups who have performed, and the companies and organisations who decorated the trees.

It is intended that The Festive Forest will be an annual event.

A full programme of The Festive Forest's events is available at the Bruce Mason Centre or by contacting Liz Darlow, Friends of Starship 09 473 5594. A photograph is available on request from Liz Darlow.

From Friends of Starship North Shore P.O. Box 33 228, Takapuna, Auckland Email Phone 09 473 5594

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