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Christmas Presents For Sick Kids

By Dan Hutton on November 17, 2010 in News

Johnno and Mal Ward at Coogee Beach.

Here at The Beast we’ve never had the misfortune of spending Christmas in hospital, neither as a patient nor at the bedside of a loved one. Thankfully for the majority of us in the Eastern Suburbs we won’t have to.

Others are not so fortunate, and for the last three years one local dad who endured more than his fair share of hospital Christmas’ at the bedside of his sick son has decided to brighten up a few little lives by organising Christmas Presents for Sick Kids.

That local dad is Mal Ward, whose son Johnno bravely battled childhood liver disease for nine years before losing the fight in August 2008. Christmas Presents for Sick Kids is now held annually in loving memory of Johnno.

2010 marks the third year for Christmas Presents for Sick Kids and it has been growing steadily each year since it began. It is hoped that this year will attract the most present donations by far. In its first year, 161 presents were donated, last year that figure grew to 496 presents and this year it is hoped that the local community will really pull together to donate over 1000 presents to this great cause.

If you’d like to donate a gift to a sick kid this Christmas, drop it in to the Charing Cross Hotel at 3pm on Sunday, December 19. Write the age group and gender that the gift is best suited to on the present and place it under the tree in the hotel. All presents will be delivered to The Sydney Children’s Hospitals at Randwick and Westmead the next day, helping to make a sick kid’s Christmas that little bit more enjoyable.

If you’d like to organise a gift collection at your workplace, you can pick up a Christmas Presents for Sick Kids poster by calling Mal Ward on 0414 293 396 or emailing