by Helen Martin
In early December, to compensate for cancellation of the usual Christmas parade, Helensville Lions held a wonderful Toy Fair and Market Day in and around the War Memorial Hall.
In the space outside the hall, next to the huge festive Christmas tree provided by North West Country Business Association, events included a line dancing performance from exercise group Groovy Line Dancers and carols sung by The Cougars and played by Kumeu Brass Band. Also outside were the RSA sausage sizzle and quick fire ham raffles, stalls and the River Valley Meats truck. Good use of entrance ways and the opened-up meeting room saw the Harcourts hamper raffle and many more stalls, organised by Kaukapakapa Village Market’s Sarah Legg, selling all manner of goodies suitable for Christmas presents and treats.
Inside the hall, the Toy Fair was a revelation, especially if this was your first time at such an event. Hundreds of barbie dolls and boys’ toys (model tractors and trucks, for example), the teaspoon collection of Lion Yvonne Hilton (Hilty) and the results of a colouring competition for schools and pre-schools she organised took up the entire wall space, while in the centre was an elaborate model railway run by Model Railroaders of Mount Albert. To cap it off, Santa and his elves were installed in the grotto on the stage, primed to take Christmas requests from Helensville’s young hopefuls.
The Toy Fair was the inspiration of Lions Pat and Scott Osborne, who have both been adding to their collections for years, and the local Lions decided to support the idea and expand the event by adding a market. Talking about community input, Hilty said the hefty
hall hire was paid for by donations, and local businesses Paper Plus Select and the Two Dollar Shop donated prizes for the colouring competition. “After the year we’ve had it’s great to see the community come together,” she said. “Today there’s a great atmosphere, it’s very relaxed, bright and cheerful and there’s plenty to see. We’re very happy with the way it’s turned out.”