Christmas in July – Charity Ball

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by Kristina Keller-Wilczek on July 15, 2010

in Christmas In July

I recently came across an article on SantasWarehouse.com.au about a Christmas in July Charity Ball. I almost passed up this article about the fund-raising event in Australia because it had already occurred on July 10th. However, my curiosity and study of how people celebrate this holiday, particularly Christmas in July, got the best of me. The thought of a Christmas ball in grand holiday theme with formal attire gave me a nostalgic memory of meeting my husband while ballroom dancing.

As I read on I discovered their first event was in 2007. Funds are raised for Vision Australia, providing services, facilities, and information to the visually impaired. I have worn glasses since grade school, but what has been more impactful are two dear friends who are legally blind with matching (almost) seeing eye dogs, Astro and Max. My father-in-law, who suffers from macular degenerative disease, has been compromised as well with visual impairment. Oh to see the twinkling of Christmas tree lights! May we not take the little things for granted.

The second Christmas in July event in 2008 raised over $15,000 and benefited Hunter Life Education, empowering children and young people to make healthy choices. I had the privilege of working with the  Education Foundation in my community which helped students earn their first two years of college through service and grades. Having transformed high schools into themed events for the Education Foundation I found this event empowering!

Helicopter Rescue

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

The 2009 and 2010 Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Christmas fundraiser made me cry. It was for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. All you have to do is mention Air Evac or Rescue Helicopters and I am in awe and full of gratitude for the missions they perform and the lives they’ve saved. My daughter was 2 1/2 when she started vomiting blood. The local hospital and their head of pediatrics felt they had things under control when she went comatose. She was then Air Evac’d to another hospital.

When the Air Evac team came to visit her a few days later in ICU we had just gotten her cancer diagnosis. They mentioned they had been concerned for her life and if the hospital had called them a few minutes later she would not have been stable enough to transport her. My heart was so full gratitude for them.

She wasn’t stranded on the side of a mountain or caught in rushing waters but her life was on the line. Each time a rescue helicopter  goes by I say a silent or verbal prayer about a miracle needed for lives about to change.

Hats off to Colleen Paniess and all who made this dream a reality for so many in need. My prayer for you is that you have surpassed your goal of $20,000 and given more hope to all involved.

I have often thought of my “Bucket List” and wondered what would have the most meaning for me and my loved ones. To participate in a Grand Christmas Ball in July with my sweetheart in the glow of the Christmas tree lights and support such causes would be a dream come true.

Hmmm–my birthday is in July………

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