Tamahere Christmas lights Santa 'humbled'

Hamilton charity display a huge success

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 24/12/2013
clive hart
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ

BIG HAUL: Clive Hart, left, has collected a mountain of Christmas presents for children with cancer. Ian Logan, of the Child Cancer Foundation, was there to collect them. 

Hamilton christmas lights
BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ
Magic moments: Clive Hart's ornate Christmas lights display is open and he's also collecting gifts for sick children.

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Thank you, Hamilton.

This was the heartfelt message from Tamahere jeweller and light lover Clive Hart who has been "humbled" by the generosity of people that visited his Christmas light display down Te Awa Lane.

In previous years he always declined offers of money to help fund his elaborate and free-of-charge spectacle of Santa, reindeer and snow.

But this year he decided to collect gifts for the Child Cancer Foundation.

Mr Hart put the invitation out via the Waikato Times at the end of November and residents answered his call.

The Christmas tree in his lounge was perhaps the most laden in the region yesterday with presents of all shapes and sizes stacked beneath it.

Every one was labelled by gender and appropriate age range.

Child Cancer Foundation's Ian Logan was there to scoop them up and take them to the chairman's house where they'll be collected today.

Other gifts will be dropped off to families and, because there are so many, some may even go to the Bay of Plenty. There are 140 Waikato families associated with the foundation and 18-20 join each year.

Mr Logan described the collection as "phenomenal".

"It never ceases to amaze me when strangers give to a cause.

"And for this time of year it restores your faith in the good nature of people and that most people are good people. It's such a wonderful thing when there's so much unwelcome news about."

Mr Hart was a little lost for words.

"I'm totally humbled. If this is what happens this year what'll happen next year?

"I thought we'd get half of what we got. I hope we make a few people smile among all the bad things that are happening."

Mr Hart says he'll collect again next year after such a positive experience.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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