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4 December, 2020

Gift wrapping fever grips region

The charity behind the region’s largest Christmas gift wrapping station expects to use a massive 10 kilometres of wrapping paper to cover up to 10,000 gifts as the festive season gets into full swing.

By Nicole Gibson

Tony Williamson and volunteers.

The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation officially kicked off their annual fundraiser this week at Cairns Central offering locals the chance to have their Christmas presents wrapped in exchange for a small donation.

 The fundraiser, which has been running for 19 years, will see about 150 volunteers donate almost 1700 hours over 500 shifts to raise money for new equipment and services at Cairns Hospital.

 First time wrapper, Foundation CEO Tony Williamson who underwent training this week to learn the intricacies of the craft said the wrap had become an institution.

 “We’ve raised just over $200,000 from Christmas Wrap since 2001 – it’s become a Christmas institution both for wrappers and customers, and we’re thrilled it could go ahead this year.” he said.

 “Funds raised from Christmas Wrap previously have contributed to the surgical microscope, women’s ultrasound, orthopaedic surgery equipment, paediatric playground and the cardiac catheter laboratory.”

 Cairns Central have been hosting the wrap at the centre for more than 15 years now.

 Centre Manager Christie-Lee Jackson said the community’s response was overwhelming.

 “We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of the community, giving up their own time to help such a worthy local fundraiser,” she said.  

 Volunteers come from all backgrounds and wrap for a variety of reasons.

 Some volunteers use the event as a team-building exercise in their workplace, others volunteer with their family and some who live in other parts of Australia but return “home” for Christmas each year, always volunteer for the wrap.

 The organisation also operates a wrapping station at DFO Cairns with Mr Williamson announcing that Stockland Cairns had joined the Foundation’s wrapping stable as well.

 Locals wanting to volunteer can visit for more details.

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