Our Everyday Elves Workshop
was bursting at the seams in the days before Christmas, thanks to the Riverton RSL Sub-Branch
and its ‘2020 Toy Cavalcade’ which took to the streets on 19 December to collect gifts for children and families doing it tough.
The Cavalcade included members of the State Emergency Service, Department of Fire and Emergency Services
, Cannington Police Station
and the Military Brotherhood Motorcycle Club
, who drove around Riverton, Willetton and Lynwood, collecting more than 500 toys from generous residents.
Riverton RSL Sub-Branch Club President Bill Collidge said club members were overjoyed to support the work of Communicare and give children and families in the local community a reason to smile on Christmas Day.
Also joining in the spirit of the day were Dr Mike Nahan MLA
, Sue Ellery MLC
, Ben Morton MP
and City of Canning
Mayor Patrick Hall, who allowed their offices to be drop-off points for donations.
Event organiser Ryan Woosnan has been working with Communicare to provide joy for families at Christmas since 2010, and has been partnering with the Riverton RSL for the past two years.
“My family began collecting gifts for Communicare as part of an annual friends and family Christmas party from 2010 up until 2017. Each year we set a total and then we’d aim to beat it.
“We managed to raise 1,060 gifts in that time and after having a year off - which made us feel really deflated – we decided to join forces with the RSL. We literally called in the cavalry!
“Over the past two years we’ve collected around $9,000 worth of gifts from local donations. In 2021 we’re aiming to break the $10,000 donation mark; it’s optimistic but I reckon it can be done.”
Ryan’s reason for helping the Communicare Christmas Appea
l is simple. “Personally, Christmas for me has always been a very special time of the year - it’s a time for family, for festivities, and fun, but most importantly it’s a time for giving.
“I was very lucky in all those departments growing up and couldn’t fathom the idea that there were disadvantaged people out there missing out in a time of such importance and need. We believed no child should wake up on Christmas Day without a gift, so we made that our main goal,” he said.
“Giving is the best feeling; putting a smile on a child’s face. The world needs more of that and it’s the quickest way to those warm and fuzzy festive feelings we’ve ever discovered!”
Along with the Riverton RSL, Ryan said momentum is building to make the Toy Cavalcade bigger and better than ever, with a larger convoy, earlier donations and a concerted drive to make it an annual highlight on the local calendar.
“Other RSL’s have inquired about the event, so I believe it may spread, giving us even greater community reach.
“We’re very proud that a very humble concept we had a few years back with a few mates has grown into what it is today,” Ryan said.
“The opportunity to continue to donate to Communicare and support all the amazing work they do with the local communities and those less well-off has been fantastic.”
Communicare CEO Melissa Perry
said the Toy Cavalcade was a hugely generous initiative that engaged the community in the spirit of giving.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank Ryan, the Riverton RSL, its members, community volunteers and everyone involved in this great event for helping to share Christmas joy with the families we work with,” Ms Perry said.
“It provides an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the misfortune and hardship facing many young people and their families at a time of year that should bring joy and a sense of hope.”
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