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A Chance To Play Santa For Seriously Sick Kids

By Sarah Healey on December 8, 2014 in News

Photo: James Hutton

Photo: James Hutton

Have you ever experienced that sudden pang of guilt on Christmas morning while sitting amongst a pile wrapping paper having ravenously ripped open more presents than you can poke a stick at? Many people aren’t so fortunate at this time of year, especially the sick kids stuck in hospital beds rather than sitting happily around the Christmas tree with their families.

If you feel like giving back this year, get down to the Arden Lounge at the Coogee Bay Hotel on Sunday, December 14 from 2pm onwards, where local legend Mal Ward will be hosting the 7th annual Christmas Presents for Sick Kids. The event is held in loving memory of his son Johnno, who passed away in 2008 after a long battle with childhood liver disease.

You’ll have Mal grinning from ear to ear by turning up with as many gifts as you can balance in two hands (marked with age and gender please!). They’ll be placed under the Christmas tree to be collected by Mal and his Little Helpers the next morning, and donated to the kids at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and Westmead Children’s Hospital.

“This day keeps growing every year, and we’d love it to continue to expand,” Mal said.

“However, it’s not about the final amount of presents we receive, it’s about making kids happy; it’s about doing something rather than nothing.”

Santa will be there on the day to excite the ankle-biters, and there will be face painting and a free barbecue as well. The more ‘mature’ crowd can sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the acoustic sounds of Elle May.

If you rush out the door and forget to wrap, fear not, as there will be a huge wrapping station at the ready.

“We encourage kids to get involved and help wrap the gifts, as they find out what the true meaning of Christmas really is – giving something back,” Mal said.

Mal’s best mate Mark Minehan will be holding the sister event south of the border at the Royal Standard Hotel in Melbourne on Sunday, December 7, so if you know any Melbournians, tell them to get along and support the cause.

If you can’t make it on the night but still want to donate, please drop your presents off to the Coogee Bay Boutique Hotel (in Vicar Street). For more information, please call Mal Ward on 0414 293 396.


  1. Well done Dusty & Mino – hope its a great success for you – Happy Christmas – mind how you go

    Posted by: Karen Wilko | December 12, 2014, 8:16 PM |

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