This year the committee behind one of Toowoomba’s largest and brightest Christmas lights displays is preparing to up the ante and the lights for a once-in-a-lifetime milestone — raising $1 million in donations returned to the community through major and minor beneficiaries.

Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland has been a staple in the region’s end of year social calendar for nearly 16 years attracting people in the tens of thousands from across the Darling Downs to experience the special magic of Christmas. Chairman of Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland Committee Marshall Cox said the Lions Club of Toowoomba West has been working since January to make this year’s exhibition extra special. “Over the many years that the Club has been hosting Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland we’ve seen the joy and magic it’s brought to thousands of children and families,” he said. “So far, the generosity of our community has raised $956,000 for local charities and community groups. This year not only are we celebrating 16 years of lights but we’ll be setting our sights firmly on reaching the $1 million mark.”

Toowoomba Hospital Foundation CEO Alison Kennedy said the Foundation is incredibly grateful to the Lions Club of Toowoomba West and the community for helping to raise much-needed funds for Darling Downs Health. “We’ve been very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of a share of the funds raised through Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland for many years now,” she said. “We wouldn’t have been able to fund some of the life-saving equipment our hospitals need without the Christmas cheer this wonderful event brings to our community.”

Lifeline Darling Downs CEO Derek Tuffield said the $1 million milestone would not have been possible without the dedication of the Lions Club of Toowoomba West. “Without the ongoing support and commitment by the Lions Club of Toowoomba West Inc, the milestone of raising $1 million dollars to support the three main beneficiaries and other local community groups would not have been possible,” he said.

The Toowoomba Hospital Foundation, The Toowoomba Hospice and Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Limited are the three major beneficiaries of Christmas Wonderland. Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland will run from December 1 to 24 in the Botanical Gardens in Queens Park.

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