An armful of teddies
THE smiles on their faces said it all as up to 900 children and their families celebrated an early Christmas yesterday.
They converged on the Coffs Harbour Showground for the Variety Special Children's Christmas Party, an annual event which had its origins with the International Year of the Child in 1979.
The party caters for children with life-threatening illnesses, as well as those with physical or intellectual disabilities.
Each child walked away with an armful of presents, ranging from learning computers and remote control cars to soft toys.
"It's an opportunity for kids who for the rest of the year feel different, to come to an event and not feel different," party manager Annemarie Hodson said. "It's a day for kids to be kids and look past what other people see first.
"It's a great networking opportunity for families to share information and their experiences. Besides that, it's bloody good fun."
Neighbours stars Ryan Moloney (Toadfish) and Nel Feeney (Janelle Timmins) were a hit with the kids, who revelled in an entertaining day.
"We thank the business community for their support. Without them, it wouldn't happen," Annemarie said.