Palmy Christmas tree tops
Wishing Tree champions once more thanks to a last minute flurry of donations, Palmerston North Kmart’s Shona Pirie has praised the pre-Christmas generosity of city folk.
The top Wishing Tree in the country brought in 5158 gifts to help local families have a better Christmas.
While that fell well short of the ambitious 7000 gift target Pirie had in mind, the final figure was only reached in the week before Christmas.
A considerable 2379 gifts, nearly half the total, came in as the December 24 deadline loomed. On December 20 the total stood at just 2779.
‘‘A lot of donations came in on the last day. People were generous as usual, and the hospital helped out quite a bit.’’
A feature of the appeal was that the collection, delivered to city families by the Salvation Army, included a number of more expensive gifts.
‘‘We got given some bikes; family dinner sets; scooters, and some of those large stuffed animal toys. It was cool. We’re very happy.’’
Pirie said they have set up commitments and support for next December’s appeal.
The city’s 2015 appeal reached 4600 gifts, with the largest total set in 2013 when it brought in 6649.
The local tree’s main competition came from Dunedin, which finished in second place with 4996.
The national total was 42,386.
Tracey Monk, Shona Pirie, Liam Dawson, Sean Pirie and Teina Epapara launching the 2016 Kmart Wishing Tree.