Velika and I had the chance to start the month off by attending events in honour of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We danced the night away at the RDAS Dance Party, where the theme was to dress up as your favourite sports team. The room was filled with so many different colours, and echoed with beautiful singing and dancing. Following this, we attended a morning tea with one of this year's beneficiaries, The Leisure Company, We came together at the Victory Memorial Gardens, interacting with everyone and sharing some delicious treats - the caramel slice was a known favourite!
Ali, Velika & I got in the Christmas spirit early and headed down to the Wagga Marketplace, spending some days gift wrapping, with the donated funds going towards Ronald McDonald House, another beneficiary from this year.
A very wholesome experience was assisting at The Salvation Army, with their annual Christmas Gift Giving appeal, this involved meeting parents and helping them fill santa sacks with presents for their children to wake up to on Christmas morning. The room was filled with tables, with things suited for children of all ages, from handmade teddy bears, to donated books and toys. There was something for everyone - the support of the Wagga Wagga community is truly something so special.
A very rewarding experience we shared together was having the opportunity to visit Ronald McDonald House and receive a tour of the Wagga House. We were shown a presentation of the work that the organisation does, and watched a video from a family who stayed in the Wagga Wagga House. There is so much hard work and dedication from the volunteers behind the scenes to make this organisation so amazing. My favourite part was seeing the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest plaque on one of the rooms in the house. Getting to see this makes you realise just how appreciate of the Quest these local organisations are, and it is a feeling that I cannot explain that we played a part in this. The efforts of all Entrants truly makes an incredible difference in people's lives. That we played a part in this, is a feeling I cannot explain.
We were lucky enough to be invited to the Mayor's Christmas party, where we came together and interacted with many local community members, learned about their different stories and shared many laughs. Mayor Dallas Tout and his wife Janine provide endless support to the Entrants and the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest and our journey would not be complete without them wanting to see everyone achieve their best.
Velika and I were humbled to assist at this year's Country Hope Christmas with the Con. The Riverside Precinct was filled with families of all ages, coming together to enjoy carols performed by the Riverina Youth Orchestra along with choirs and soloists from the Riverina Conservatorium of Music. We ended the night with a beautiful firework display over our local Murrumbidgee River, and the lighting of the traditional Country Hope Tree of Hope - something that was so special.
We wrapped up December with pallets of mangoes, hand picked and delivered to Wagga just in time for Christmas - making a perfect Summer treat. This fundraiser would not have been possible without the staff and space at the Thirsty Crow Brewery.
On behalf of Velika and I, and the Committee members, we would like to say a massive thank you for the endless support and love shown towards the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest. As Entrants and Titleholders our journey would not have been possible without any of it, and without the kindness and generosity of the Wagga Wagga community.
We would like to wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas, surrounded by your loved ones, and a very Happy New Year!
Community Princess 2024