Community Christmas event spreads festive cheer
By Wendy Shaw
CatholicCare Tasmania (CCT) is helping to spread the joy of the festive season in the north of the state with its ongoing support for a community Christmas celebration.
Everyone is welcome at the Launceston Community Christmas event on 25 December, from 11am to 2pm, at the Launceston Convention Centre, in the Door of Hope complex.
CCT joins the St Vincent de Paul Society and other emergency relief providers City Mission, Launceston Benevolent Society and the Salvation Army as well as Launceston City Council in organising the event each year.
Kevin Preen, CCT’s executive manager for Family, Therapeutic and Counselling Services, volunteered at the event last year and is also part of the organising committee as part of his CatholicCare role.
“The atmosphere is always really friendly and it’s like a very big family Christmas dinner,” he said.
“It’s a great day and it brings together people of all ages, abilities and from all sorts of diverse communities.”
The event is usually held at the Albert Hall, on the edge of City Park, but that is currently undergoing renovations. Last year people ate outdoors in the spacious and tree-studded park due to COVID concerns.
“CatholicCare is very pleased to again be a part of this wonderful event,” Mr Preen added.
“Christmas is a time of great happiness, joy and wonder but for some it can be a time of sorrow and loneliness.
“This event brings the community together, and not only unprivileged people, but also members of the broader community who want to share the joy and companionship of Christmas with others.
“It is a sit-down meal for 350 plus 50 takeaways from the Door of Hope, and we deliver 50 take away meals to homeless camps around town. We encourage families to come along and there are games for the kids, Santa gives out presents and a group of musicians sing Christmas carols and other popular songs.”
CatholicCare provides some funding towards the event and a handful of staff volunteer their time. Mr Preen thanked staff, and the many other volunteers, corporate and individual sponsors whose contributions make the event possible.
Go to www.launcestoncommunitychristmas.com.au to attend, volunteer or sponsor the event.