Airtime: Cr Ben Taylor and 3BA General Manager John Fitzgibbon launched the city’s annual Christmas Appeal last week. Photo: ALISTAIR FINLAY

Appeal making for happy Christmas for all

November 7, 2019 BY

SANTA is due down the chimney in just under two months and that means Ballarat’s annual effort to make the festive season special for everyone is also in full swing.

The 3BA Christmas Appeal launched last week in the radio station’s offices and General Manager John Fitzgibbon said the drive was about Ballarat caring for Ballarat.

“One of the key things in our community is that we really seek to look after our own,” he said.

“We’re never failed, we’ve never had a family that’s missed out. The charities tell us they have families coming in at five, six o’clock on Christmas Eve and a ring around will always ensure that there’s something that can be done.”

While it’s too early to say how many in the community would need help this year, Mr Fitzgibbon urged people to give what they could.

That might be cash, non-perishable food or toys for distribution to the four recipient welfare organisations. Whatever the donation, it’ll make a difference.

“What we encourage is if that people could donate cash,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“Cash is so flexible for us. We can use it to put towards purchasing groceries for the hampers, we can use it to purchase specific toys we need for specific age groups, so that gives us the greatest flexibility. That being said we’ll take toys and make it work.”

Peter Caligari has been coordinating the city’s Christmas Appeal for four decades and said the need for support was as acute as ever.

However, as the need for help grew, so did support from across the region.

“We believe that Christmas should be a joyous and memorable time for every family here in the Ballarat area. Not only those families that can afford it, but also for our many, many less fortunate families,” he said. “Every child is entitled to a visit from Santa.”

“This is made possible by a very caring and generous Ballarat community. The way that the community gets behind the Appeal each year continues to grow and is absolutely incredible.”

Joining Mr Fitzgibbon to launch the Appeal was City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor. He brought a $1000 donation from the municipality to get the drive underway.

“Having the present under the tree does make a real difference to the kids,” he said. “It’s so important to feel that they are getting something, they feel loved, and the parents… don’t feel that heart wrenching feeling that they can’t supply something.”

Donations for the 3BA Christmas Appeal can be made directly at the station’s offices, 56 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat.