Thu, Dec 21, 2023 8:00 AM

Christmas pride and presents


William Woodworth

It’s been a festive tradition for almost 20 years – a trio of local groups working together to get Christmas all wrapped up.

Beavertown Lions, Marlborough Girls’ College’s Leo Club and the Blue Door have again joined forces to wrap, stack and sort gifts for happy recipients.

And this year the tradition came full circle for Beavertown Lion and Leo Advisor Jacinda Mckenzie, who was an MGC Leo when the wrapping programme started.

She says she is delighted with this year’s efforts.

“Each year we do the wrapping, it gets smoother and easier because we know the processes, so it’s actually been quicker than expected,” she says.

“I aim to supplement ideas and let the girls lead projects due to their interests for the year, while helping them develop their skillsets and show them their capabilities”.

Leo Club president Laura Elliot-Whale, who Jacinda highlights as being  pivitol to the club’s development after stepping up to be club president last year, says strengthening connections has been key to their 2023 plans.

“This year, we’ve purposefully worked much closer with the Lions by attending dinners, meeting, formal and informal catchups, but also making better connections within the Club and getting to know each other too,” says Laura.

“I wasn’t sure about becoming President, but it’s been an amazing opportunity to gain self-confidence alongside a great group of girls.

“Next year we’re hoping to see more junior students step up as year 13’s will need to step back with juggling prefect duties, schoolwork, and club commitments.

“We already have some projects around mental health and environmental based activities hopefully booked in for next year so we can continue helping the community where we can.”

This year, the collaboration took over a classroom to wrap, sort and stack presents by age range, to ensure local children in need get a present they want this Christmas.

This year’s gift recipients included Mayfield School, Multicultural Centre, Womens Refuge, Maataa Waka, Red Cross, Hospice Marlborough, Wairau Hospital’s Emergency Department, Urgent Care and Paediatrics Ward.

“Beavertown Lions support the MGC Leo Club through projects annually whether it’s something like the wrapping that has gone on for years or something new the girls want to try”, says Jacinda.

“It’s awesome to see our original idea still going and we hope after next year’s 20th anniversary that there’s plenty more to come in the future”.

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