A Sprinkle of cheer for sick kids

Written by Kerrie Alexander

SEEING the pure joy on the faces of children at the Hervey Bay Hervey Bay Hospital Auxiliary Children’s Christmas party is what keeps Trish Hummerston coming back each year.

For the past four years, the passionate volunteer has been coordinating the festive get together for any child up to the age of 15, and their families, who had been admitted to hospital that year.

The market-like event is usually held in the hospital grounds behind the maternity ward, with face painters, popcorn, fairy floss, balloon making, and in the past have had special visits from police,
ambulance, Paw Patrol characters, lots of food and, of course, a visit from Santa.

“I have so enjoyed doing it for the last four years,” Trish said.

“I’m just a passionate person, that’s just me and I just love what do. I love seeing the look on the kids’ faces when they see Santa and get a gift.

“We weren’t going to have a Christmas party at all this year because of Covid, so thank goodness we can now actually go ahead.”

Children up to eight years of age receive a gift and the older kids will receive a voucher for popcorn, drink and a movie screening at the BigScreen Cinemas, thanks to a $2000 grant from the Hervey Bay RSL Community Grants Program.

“The RSL has supported me for the past four years, and I’m very thankful,” Trish said.

“I appreciate so much what the club does for me and the kids … they pay for the movie tickets and all the toys and gifts.

“There’s a lot of children here that don’t have much so, to me, to be able to give them a movie ticket … I know they can at least go out for a little bit of recreation and that’s something some of them just
don’t get ordinarily.

“They can just sit and let the world go by.

“I would be lost without the RSL’s support.”

Trish has also been known to stand on the number 2 tee at the Hervey Bay Golf Club to help raise funds for the days’ entertainment.

She can also be found selling raffle tickets at local markets.

“I raise that money because it doesn’t matter what it costs, I just need it to be a happy couple of hours for the kids.”