Five Ways A Parade/ Festival Unites The Community

ShelterBox Response team member and ShelterBox Australia Ambassador, Peita Berzins reports from The Tuggerah Lakes Mardi Gras on the Central Coast of NSW.

Shelterbox volunteers at the Mardi Gras

L-R Peter Pearce, Con Bartos, Margot Caulfield, Torben Neilsen, Peita Berzins

Yesterday ShelterBox ambassadors and The Entrance Rotary participated in the Tuggerah Lakes 63rd Mardi Gras Parade and Festival. What a great day it was, and our interactions had many mutual benefits:

1. Fun…seeing children and families and friends enjoy the parade, and the rides, stalls and entertainment. There was the visit from Santa, and later the traditional lighting of The Memorial Park Christmas Tree and the favourite renowned fireworks display.

Santa sitting on a ShelterBox

2. Belonging…the parade and festival reinforces our web of relationships, through friendship, community groups, business, schools, hobbies, sport.

The parade lines up

3. Celebrating diversity… different cultures and races, beliefs and customs on display from indigenous dancers to gym fitness instructors to surf life saving clubs to beauty queens to dance troupes to a high school marching band.

local indigenous dance troupe

4. Familiar figures the crowds love…Batman, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, Sponge Bob and of course Santa Claus.

Super heroes!

Super heroes!

5. Music…everyone lives to tap their feet and even join in the performances.

We put up a tent, gave away helium balloons to the children and pamphlets to the adults, held a raffle and made lots of new friends, spreading the word about our disaster relief charity.

A big thank you to President Torben Nielsen from The Entrance Rotary, and his band of willing helpers Margot Caulfield, Con Bartos and Carrol and Allan Coats. Ambassadors Joan Redmond, Peter Pearce and myself couldn’t have done it without them. A big thank you to Ivor Berzins who donated generous prizes to the raffle – four rounds of golf at Shelly Beach Golf club, and a cricket bat signed by Michael Clarke. Thank you to for The Entrance Majestic Cinemas and The Italian Cake and Coffee Shop for their sponsorship. “

www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au

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