MOST children would be keen to get out of hospital after a two-week stay but Allana and Elizabeth Cannon were happy to hang around for a few more hours to get a visit from Santa this week.
The two girls, who were being treated for cystic fibrosis, were among more than 120 patients at Warrnambool Base Hospital to receive a present from Santa, courtesy of the Fonterra Warrnambool social club.
Also presented with a gift was a baby born just two hours before Santa’s visit.
This is the 83rd year the social club has distributed Christmas presents to patients in Warrnambool hospital, continuing a tradition which began under the company’s predecessor Nestle in 1920.
Club members get details of the age and gender of patients in hospital on the day of Santa’s visit in order to provide suitable presents and spend more than three hours handing them out with Santa.
Club member Phil Parkes said funds for the gifts came from Fonterra and staff, who contributed money from fund-raisers such as collecting recyclable materials and hiring barbecues.
Members of Warrnambool’s Holiday Actors enhanced the Christmas spirit by singing carols as Santa weaved his way through the wards.