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Christmas Festivities for the Shore Launched


Starship and Bruce Mason Centre launch Christmas Festivities for the Shore

Lovers of Christmas celebrations are in for a real treat this year with a three-week long Christmas extravaganza - The Festive Forest - being held in the foyer of Takapuna's Bruce Mason Centre.

A spectacular array of traditional and contemporary Christmas trees decorated by local companies and organisations is the focal point of The Festive Forest which will run from December 1 to 20. The event was officially opened with a family carol service on Sunday evening. Suzi Cato and Georgia McKenzie a 5 year old former heart patient from Torbay switched the lights on the trees to launch Christmas on the Shore.

The trees are on display daily. As well, there is Christmas Wish Tree where people can hang their wishes and a raffle for a superb Christmas hamper.

This weekend and again on 14/15 December, between 10 and 3.00pm, there will be free musical entertainment and activities for all the family. And, those who wish to whisper their hopes of Christmas Day into Santa's ear can do so between midday and 2.00p.m.

A school holiday programme for children has been organised by the Bruce Mason Centre and will run from 16 - 20 December, 11.00 am - 2.pm daily. It features a colouring competition, face painting, Christmas movies and videos, festive stories read by Spotlight the Christmas Fairy. Santa will be visiting then too. The Festive Forest is being organised by Friends of Starship North Shore. A gold coin donation to view the trees will help their fundraising campaign to equip Starship Children's Hospital with an urgently-needed Bi-Plane X-Ray machine for children with heart problems

Chairperson of Friends of Starship North Shore Liz Darlow says the foyer of the Bruce Mason Centre is a scene of festive community spirit ablaze with beautifully decorated, twinkling trees. She says the Friends of Starship are extremely grateful to the Bruce Mason Centre for its support.

"We are delighted to be holding The Festive Forest at the Bruce Mason Centre. It is elegant and spacious, there's plenty of parking and it's so strongly associated with North Shore events."

Liz Darlow says the aim of The Festive Forest is to offer the people of the North Shore something quite wonderful for the Christmas season while at the same time raising funds to help the 400 young heart patients who are admitted to Starship each year. The X-Ray machine we are working towards buying helps save children's lives. It will form part of the equipment at Starship's Heart Unit, planned to open in 2003 and aiming to provide heart children and their families with the medical and emotional needs they so rightly deserve."

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.


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