On Sunday 15 November, Brainwave held its annual Christmas Party at iconic Luna Park in St Kilda. What a great morning it turned out to be. Families started queueing early to beat the crowds and the City2Sea traffic and by 9.00am they were bursting through the turnstiles. This year saw a record number of families in attendance.

The Luna Park Christmas Party is by far Brainwave’s largest family event—this year drawing over 500 people. What was most satisfying to see was the large number of new families attending a Brainwave event for the first time. If the feedback is anything to go by, they were not disappointed.

In addition to 16 rides and parlour games on offer, the Brainwave child, their siblings, parents and carers were entertained by a cheeky elf, a bubble man on stilts—who also came in handy retrieving balloons from the ceiling of Santa’s tent—an acrobatic duo who jumped, juggled and surprised even the most seasoned attendees while the jingles of the Dixie band all helped create a carnival atmosphere.

The event ran very smoothly thanks to our wonderful Mercedes Benz, QBE and community volunteers. Their assistance with registrations, blowing up balloons, handing out Ferrero chocolates and helping Santa to hand out gifts was invaluable.

As a reminder about the importance of this day for Brainwave families, the Bartlett family said, “Having a child with a disability isn’t easy. It can be quite anxiety inducing when faced with new situations, your child may cry and make a scene or be stared at because they are different or not be able to participate because they can’t walk or talk. Being at Luna Park with other families in the same boat as us allowed us to relax and enjoy the day without a care in the world”.

The Bartlett’s went on to say, “Our son Ace had the most amazing time and it is a special day that we will remember forever. The excitement on our little boy’s face and the squeals as he rode the mini roller coaster and the merry go round were priceless. Our focus is to make beautiful memories which is exactly what we did thanks to Brainwave. It was a special day that will hold a place in our hearts forever. “

Brainwave’s Luna Park Christmas party for families would not have been possible without funding from the Chain Reaction Foundation and the William Buckland Foundation. Our heartfelt thanks to these organisations for their generous support and for helping to make a difference to the lives of the children we support.