Woodford Christmas market receives top crowd numbers with big hearts

While patrons basked in the sun, Woodford Primary School students are set to play in the shade after a successful fund-raiser on Saturday.

Record numbers attended the Woodford Christmas Market, which raised money for the school.

More than 3000 market-goers gave more than 50 stall holders record sales snapping up Christmas gift ideas, plants, food, toys and jewellery.

Timed to coincide with Remembrance Day, the gathered crowd participated in a minute’s silence just before 11am.

Event organiser Tania Ferris said the silence delivered an emotive moment.

“It was almost eerie,” she said. “There wasn’t a single sound for that one minute, it was really moving.”

The silence was then followed by a rendition of the national anthem led by Warrnambool musician Tom Richardson, accompanied by the school choir.

“The choir did a fantastic job,” Mrs Ferris said. “These kids are just year threes and fours but they sang like kids much older.”

Mrs Ferris said the community’s giving spirit was “overwhelming”.

Assembled at the entrance to the market was a MacKillop Family Services Christmas Tree Appeal where shoppers were encouraged to leave gifts for foster children in the region.

At the end of the event gifts surrounded the trim of the tree.

“The community were incredibly generous,” Mrs Ferris said.

“There were lots of gifts left under the tree for foster children in the region”

Donations also came from the wider community.

“We did a letterbox drop in the area during the week and this community donated not only gifts but  we received monetary donations too.”

Mrs Ferris said the size of the school did not accurately reflect the size of its heart.

“We are only a small school with just over 200 kids,” she said.

“But we all pulled together and produced something that Woodford should be really proud of.

“From the school principal Daniel Watson, to the parents, the kids and even the wider community.

“It just goes to show what a small school can create.”

Although final figures were not yet known, the school was hoping to raise enough money from the market to build an undercover area for the students to utilise when it rained.