Local Toowoomba charities and community groups will receive a share in $94,500 as a result of the 2017 Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland event.

Hosted by the Lions Club of Toowoomba West, Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland has been held annually since 2006. The event was initially run by Toowoomba locals, Don and Trevor Burstow, and was re-named Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland in 2007, in recognition of the support Burstow’s received from the entire Toowoomba community.

It sees a spectacular lights display come to life in the Botanic Gardens at Queens Park and has welcomed more than 80,000 visitors annually for the past three years.

Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland announced that $94,500 was raised from their 2017 event at the recent Thank You Function.

The three main beneficiaries – the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation, the Toowoomba Hospice and Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland – will each receive $30,000. The remaining $4,500 will be shared between a number of community groups.

Lions Club of Toowoomba West member and Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland Project Chairman, Marshall Cox, spoke about the event. He stated that the result would not have been possible without strong support from many sponsors, volunteers and supporters.

It takes around 40 volunteers each night, over 23 consecutive nights, to ensure Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland runs smoothly for the thousands of visitors that attend.

Many local entertainers, including dance groups, bands, choirs and vocal soloists and groups, support the event by performing free of charge each evening.

“The Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland is powered by our incredible community here in Toowoomba,” Mr Cox said.

“Without the generosity and support of our sponsors, our volunteers, our project committee, and our local community, this result would not have been possible. Preparation and planning [starts] in February each year – so seeing such a wonderful result for our community definitely makes it all worthwhile.

“A total of $949,500 has now been raised through the Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland [since 2006]. We have our sights firmly set on reaching the big $1 million in 2018.”

Readers may also be interested in this story on Philanthropy in Focus