FOR many, Christmas is about giving something back to the community and that’s exactly what it’s all about for one milk-loving family from Berry
The Clarkes from Clarence Street have spent more thanr 20 hours, used more than 1000 milk crates and 2000 screws to make a brilliant, architectural Christmas display on their front lawn, but it’s not all about the decorating.
When Renee Clarke heard the plight of Kiama two-year-old Dexter Heffernan she was determined to lend a helping hand.
With her husband Trevor in the milk industry and two very enthusiastic boys of their own, together they made their unique Christmas display bigger than ever to try and raise money for brave little Dexter.
Mrs Clarke said she was touched by the child’s story and her heart went out to his parents.
“Dexter’s parents said they are hoping to bring him down in the next fortnight to meet us,” Mrs Clarke said.
“We just want to get the word out, so we can help them as much as possible.”
Dexter was born nine weeks premature and diagnosed with level four spastic quadriplegia at just one-month-old.
He does therapy with his mother every day and a private therapist visits him once a fortnight.
Dexter’s vision impairment is said to have been caused from his brain damage and some days he can’t see much at all.
In June 2012, Dexter was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma liver cancer. He has had six rounds of chemotherapy and will need regular check-ups, scans and blood tests.
Dexter’s mother Lenice said the past two years had been difficult but they had been lucky to have met some kind-hearted, genuine people.
“Our lives are richer because we have Dexter,” she said.
“We appreciate everyone who loves our little boy.
“Your love makes the hard days just that little bit better.”
Mrs Clarke’s eldest son Connor said helping to build the display for Dexter was fun and rewarding. Especially when he saw how much the younger children enjoy it.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting Dexter,” he said.
From the milk crates, provided by Dairy Famers, where Trevor works, the Clarkes have made a replica of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Santa sleigh and reindeer, robot Santa, Christmas tree, aeroplane and a fun maze - especially designed by children, for children.
Mr Clarke said their inventive decorating began when his wife made a Christmas tree with the crates a few years back and he was determined to out-do her creativity.
The Clarkes will give away flavoured milks until Sunday and from Friday, December 13 to Sunday, December 15 from 5pm to 9pm for a gold coin donation, which will be given directly to Dexter and his family.