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Roll up . . . Christmas will come to the Pleasant Point Bowling Club this year, with Jayden Walker (15, pictured) and his mother Kirstyn organising a community Christmas dinner at the venue. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Claire Allison

Christmas dinner and a concert featuring one of New Zealand’s rising opera stars is on the menu in Pleasant Point this year.

Singer Jayden Walker and his mother, Kirstyn, are organising a community Christmas dinner, under the banner of Jayden Walker Sings.

Mrs Walker said the idea had come from an experience the family had a couple of years ago.

“We were shifting into the township from the farm at Totara Valley.

“We moved right on Christmas, and we were invited to a community Christmas dinner organised by a church. It was a big relief not to do anything, just to turn up.”

Coupled with 15-year-old Jayden’s wish to hold a concert in his home town, and the absence of a community Christmas dinner in the township in recent years, the family decided to see what they could do about it.

Jayden holds a charity concert twice a year, and beneficiaries include Kidney Kids, Mike King’s Key to Life, and Hospice South Canterbury.

“Pleasant Point has really looked after him and embraced him, and he’s been wanting to do a concert in Pleasant Point for ages. So this year, Jayden Walker Sings is organising this.”

Putting the word out on the community’s Facebook page has resulted in offers of food and help, and the event is being supported by Four Square in Pleasant Point, the Pleasant Point Butchery, and the Browne St Countdown in Timaru.

Mrs Walker said she was keen to have more people on board, either to cook a roast on Christmas Eve for the Christmas Day meal, or to come along on the day and help serve.

“The biggest thing though is that we need people to contact us to say that they want to come.”

Mrs Walker is hoping someone with some artistic flair can create some table centrepieces, admitting she was not really a decorating sort of person.

“I’d love a helper to make it look really Christmassy.”

Point Bowling Club in Morris Lane, can accommodate up to 50 people, and Mrs Walker said it was important people realised everyone was welcome – not just those who lived alone.

A volunteer has offered to provide transport for those who need it, and the venue is accessible.

While a full Christmas dinner will be provided – hot lamb and roast vegetables, and cold meats and salads – the event includes an optional potluck, giving people the opportunity to bring something to share.

Anyone wanting to attend Pleasant Point’s community Christmas dinner, or who would like to help organise the event, can contact Jayden on 27-950-3852 or email jaydenwalkersings@gmail.com