Henri’s on a mis­sion for poor

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Denise S. Cahill

WHEN the Mis­sion Aus­tralia team meets to dis­cuss the finer de­tails of the 2016 Christ­mas Lunch in the Park (CLIP), four-year-old Henri is never far away.

The teacup schnau­zer has al­ready helped to col­lect thou­sands of dol­lars worth of vouch­ers and hun­dreds of presents for the men, women and chil­dren who will at­tend year’s 41st event at Welling­ton Square Park in East Perth.

Henri’s owner Grace Lan­der, of Bayswa­ter, is vol­un­teer­ing for the Christ­mas Day event for the sec­ond year but it is the first time she has got her pooch in­volved.

“Henri’s been to ev­ery Mis­sion Aus­tralia meet­ing. He’s like our mas­cot,” Ms Lan­der said.

“I had a house­warm­ing party and all his mates from the park came to raise money for Mis­sion Aus­tralia and do­nate gifts.

“We were hav­ing cof­fee at Mrs. S re­cently and a young staff mem­ber came out who knows Henri and gave me an en­ve­lope with $20 in it for Mis­sion Aus­tralia.” Ms Lan­der said Henri was a “gift from god”. Four years ago, the an­i­mal lover “heard on the grapevine” that a breeder had shipped Henri from Texas but his crooked teeth meant he was not suitable for breed­ing.

“So I went to Wem­b­ley Downs and picked him up,” Ms Lan­der said.

“I didn’t know what he would look like but we’ve been to­gether ever since.”

Ms Lan­der said CLIP was close to her heart be­cause it brought all types of peo­ple to­gether.

“The child who wakes up Christ­mas Day and has noth­ing to look for­ward to will go to lunch and Santa will give him a gift and that’s when they know they are loved and that’s so im­por­tant,” she said.

CLIP still needs do­na­tions of gifts for teenagers and peo­ple are en­cour­aged to do­nate on­line to buy some­one lunch or sponsor a ta­ble.

Visit http://www.chris tmasl unchinthe park. com.au.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d463124

Grace Lan­der with Henri, who has been help­ing out Mis­sion Aus­tralia.

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