Hero Stories – A Christmas Edition

23 December 2021

To cap off a year of many ups and downs, we are sharing a special Christmas edition of our Hero Stories this month!

Christmas is a chance to reconnect and reconfirm your connection with others –a reflection of the relationships and bonds that have been formed. Christmas is a time when friends and family come together; an extended period of overindulgence; and a moment in time when life feels truly magical. But above all, Christmas is about giving back to those we love.

This is something we have seen so much of in our community throughout the entire year, but especially this last month in the lead up to Christmas. We cannot thank every single individual and organisation who has supported us throughout this difficult year enough and we are truly humbled by your generosity.

We would like to share some of these stories which perfectly epitomise the spirit of Christmas, starting with our dear friend Kevin Moore. Many of you have met Kevin, but probably won’t recognise him. Kevin is Challenge’s very own Santa Clause, having made an appearance at every Christmas Party at Sandown Racecourse over the last 15 years. Sadly, Covid has made our annual Christmas Party an unachievable feat for the last two years, which has put Kevin out of action. This hasn’t stopped Kevin from trying to make a difference. He now transforms himself into his red and white suit, sitting for hours on end to greet children, both young and old, who visit the amazing Christmas lights at 290 Gap Rd in Sunbury. People visit this beautiful home of Terry and Glenys Campion, which features more than 500,000 Christmas lights. Santa is always available for a photo with the excited families who visit and if they wish to thank him, he simply asks for gold coin donation towards Challenge. To Kevin, Terry and Glenys , we are forever grateful for your support.

To continue the spread of Christmas cheer, we are also fortunate enough to have a wonderful group of people who help us make life a little brighter for our families over the festive period. For more than 20 years, The Present Company has provided Challenge with food hampers to give to families who are in hospital on Christmas Day. Bertocchi Hams and Tim Cockayne have also been amazing supporters in assisting us with the making of these Christmas hampers. And of course, there are the wonderful Food Angels – Carol Rothschild, Glenda Boland and Maria Borrello – who are instrumental figures in bringing these scrumptious bundles of goodies together and always lend a helping hand wherever they can. We are so grateful to have the support of these generous individuals and we hope they know what a smile it brings to so many faces at such a special time of the year.

Last but certainly not least, we wish to thank the remarkable efforts of Andrea Zanella and the team at Were St Trading. Every weekend over the last couple of months, Andrea and the team have been selling raffle tickets for their major prize draw in an effort to raise funds for Challenge. Andrea turns up every weekend with a smile on her face as she dons her Challenge bib and shakes her tins, all in support of a cause she holds so close to her heart. She goes above and beyond, collecting Challenge merchandise to sell and raising important awareness of the importance of Challenge and the work we do. She is truly one of a kind and we are so lucky to have not only her support, but the support of her entire community who rally behind her every step of the way. Andrea and Were St Trading, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

As the end of the year quickly approaches, we wish you all a safe and happy holiday period. Take the time to eat copious amounts of food; cuddle your loved ones; and enjoy the summer sun!