The weather gods did not look kindly upon us for the 2014 Very Special kids event. The previous night, most areas received considerable rainfall and this possibly contributed to the smaller than usual attendance numbers. However, it did not deter the twenty families (eighty people) who attended from enjoying themselves and generally having a good time. The weather eventually cleared and, apart from a few early showers, it remained dry and we even had some afternoon sunshine.
A good number of Melbourne Branch members arrived early at Cardinia Reservoir Park to set up the generator, gazebos, barbecue, food and music.
The park is in a lovely setting with loads of open space and we even saw a few kangaroos grazing early in the morning.
Thanks to all members who assisted with ordering, collecting, delivering and preparation of the food and to those who cooked the meat and onions on the barbecue. There was a delicious assortment of salads which were enjoyed by everyone. We were also fortunate to have free barbecue hire from Sherbrooke Hire and thanks to Peter and Marilyn Seigman for collecting and returning the barbecue.
Activities for the kids included Red the Clown who made balloon art and did some clever magic tricks, artistic face painting by Anita and her granddaughter Amy
and of course going for a spin on a motorcycle, sidecar or trike. This is a special treat and was very popular with the kids.
Even an adult or two went for a ride! Thank you to Peter Seigman of the National Three Wheeler group, Phil Duffy of Adventure Riders Australia and to those members who helped with this part of the day.
Santa arrived on a trike looking resplendent in his red and white suit and hat.
His sack was full of goodies and the kids were excited to receive their gift packs. Some lucky families went home with some great prizes when their winning tickets were drawn in the raffle.
Thanks to Bunnings Coburg for providing the Christmas gifts packs for the kids and also for the wonderful raffle prizes. And thank you to Josette and Rodney for their efforts in coordinating and organising these gifts and prizes.
Quite a few families lingered for a while, enjoying the afternoon sunshine and playing with their children, and the trikes were still taking one or two people for a last ride. By the time we had packed up, it was well into the afternoon and a few members headed off to the Paradise Valley Hotel in Emerald for a de-brief on the event and a quiet drink to end a successful day.
This is the first time I have attended the Very Special Kids day and it was wonderful to see the kids (and adults too) having fun and enjoying themselves. One family member commented to me that her son loved attending this special day and that he really looked forward to it each year. We must be doing something right. And well done to Libby Bakewell for coordinating her first VSK event. Thanks also to ALL members for their contribution to the day, be it minimum or maximum. By all working together we ensured a great day was had by all and we provided some fun for the kids and a bit of a break for the parents/carers.
Thanks go to: Libby Bakewell - event coordinator, Peter Seigman - National Three Wheeler Group, Phil Duffy - Adventure Riders Australia (sidecars), solo motorcycles - Brian Lacey and Tony Imrie, Josette and Rodney Keating (Christmas gift packs and raffle prizes), Anita Wallis and Amy (face painting), Holly Fields (music), John Taylor (sound speakers), John Cook (generator, gazebos and other equipment), Julie Rock, Maryanne Tigges, Rae McNamara, Hank Tigges, Rodney Keating, Ron Blomley (food and barbecue), Greg Rees (equipment and signs, etc), Sherbrooke Hire, Coles Cranbourne, Bunnings Coburg.
Thank to John Cook for the photos you see in this report.