Illawara lights up and raises $4300

By Charmayne Allison

THIS year’s Illawarra neighbourhood Christmas lights collection blew records out of the park, raising almost $4300 for local charities.

Bringing the total amount of money raised since its inception 10 years ago to more than $36,000.

Although this year’s event had organisers biting their nails a bit at first.

‘‘The first two nights barely anyone showed up so we packed up by 10pm,’’ instigator and community member Greg Taylor said.

‘‘We said to each other there’s no way we’ll get to last year’s total. But thankfully Christmas Eve was just crazy and we made almost $2300 in just one night.’’

Held on the four nights leading up to Christmas, the collection sees tin rattlers take to Illawarra Dr to maximise on the huge crowds drawn by the community’s dazzling Christmas lights display.

This year the funds raised will be split evenly between Echuca Lions Club, CWA Ladies Committee, Echuca East Primary School Fundraising Committee and St Joseph’s College.

But organiser and Lions’ member John Simson said none of this would have been possible without some very important people.

‘‘We want to thank Charles L King and Co Echuca for their faithful sponsorship,’’ he said.

‘‘A huge thanks goes also to Greg and Helen Taylor for continuing to champion this event and the wider community for giving so generously.

‘‘But above all, we want to thank the Illawarra Dr neighbourhood for the great job they do year after year. If it wasn’t for their beautiful display, we wouldn’t have this.’’