When the young boy was asked what Santa had brought him, he answered that Santa did not come to his place, but that he came to the Christmas and Beyond Lunch to receive a gift from Santa. Christmas and Beyond was happy to be a part of helping Santa meet the hope of this small boy.
In 2015 Christmas and Beyond had a fresh start under a new team and in a new location. Pastor Jim Abberton stepped down in 2014 as the coordinator of Christmas and Beyond. Craig Rayner has step into the role of coordinating Christmas and Beyond.
Christmas and Beyond is a Lithgow Community organisation which relies heavily on the wider Lithgow community for support to ensure a successful Christmas Lunch. Businesses and groups that have supported Christmas and Beyond in 2015 include The Lithgow Workman’s Club, Westfund, Lithgow Real Estate (L.J.Hooker), Lithgow Lion’s Club, Lithgow Chicken, BP Lithgow, Lithgow Valley Springs, State Dept Recovery, Ray White Real Estate, Three Trees Lodge, Little Al’s Bakery, Donut King, Pizza Hut, Lithgow Correctional Centre, Services NSW, 2LT, Family First Credit Union, and many of the Lithgow churches. There were also many individuals that supported with donations of money, goods and/or time.
In 2015, the Christmas Lunch was held at the Bible Church Hall, a new space that allowed for a comfortable place for a Christmas party. 200 plus people enjoy the day, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, feasting on ham (donated by a member of the Lithgow community,) chicken and salad, with plum pudding and custard, as well as all of the usual Christmas party fare, including mince pies, bonbons and carols.
Mayor Maree Statham joined in the day to hand out some gifts and chat with the attendees. All attendees receive a gift as well, and families received a hamper to help them through the financial stress that Christmas can bring to families.
Once again, a huge thank you to the community of Lithgow for the help in making Christmas a reality for so many people.