Early Christmas for almost 100 Tauranga children

Almost 100 children raced across Gate Pa Park, from St Georges Church, to claim new bikes donated by the Tauranga community.

It was part of the annual Carrus Christmas party which was put on for needy or homeless Tauranga children today.

Tommy Wilson, from Te Tuinga Whanau Trust, raised enough money to buy new bikes and helmets for each child at the event.

The bikes and other presents were gifted to the children and their families who also enjoyed learning to play golf, play under a bubble machine and enjoy a Christmas lunch with friends and sponsors of the trust.

Mr Wilson said the event was an opportunity to spread a bit of joy for children and families who would not normally have much over the Christmas period.

Property developer and philanthropist Paul Adams, who sponsored the event, said he had seen the level of deprivation and homelessness around Tauranga city and had to do something.

"For some of these kids this would be the nearest thing they would have to a Christmas dinner and getting Christmas presents," he said during the celebrations.

Mr Adams said the number of people who had put their hands in their pockets to help raise enough money for the bikes was wonderful.

"It's a really good community effort."

Mr Adams said it was important to acknowledge Mr Wilson and the other trustees of Te Tuniga Whanau Support Services.

"We need more people in Tauranga city doing the same and putting their hands in their pockets to help out."

Tani Dahm was one of about 100 who was gifted a new bike for Christmas today. Photo/John Borren

Tani Dahm was one of about 100 who was gifted a new bike for Christmas today. Photo/John Borren

Trust chairman Dr Bruce Bryant said the event was wonderful for the children and families supported by the trust.

"Most of them are really struggling. The kids are the ones who feel it and put up with that struggle, so if we can make their Christmas and their parents' Christmas a little bit easier, then why not?"