The people of Napier really came to the party when it came to giving the annual Christmas Cheer Appeal coffers a fine boost.

Napier City Council staff members donned Santa hats and reindeer antlers last Friday to carry out a street appeal and the strollers and shoppers in the CBD were happy to do their bit to help the less fortunate in the community at this special time of the year.

At the end of the day the appeal crew counted up $832, which more than topped the $742 collected last year.

"It was a great success — we were are very pleased with the way it went," Napier appeal co-ordinator Hellene Overend said.

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That, and an anonymous $200 donation passed on in Hastings, pushed the public side of the appeal fund past $4500.

On the gifts and food front the last few days have also seen fine community efforts.

About 40 members of the Napier 200 Club, made up of women from across the business sector, got together for a special lunch at Hastings restaurant Ten Twenty Four earlier this week to host guest speaker Barbara Kuriger, MP for Taranaki and King Country.

"So we decided to all bring along something a little special for the Christmas Cheer Appeal," club spokeswoman Deborah Burnside said.

Which meant a can of something indeed a little special — a bit of a treat to add to some of the cheer parcels which will be put together in a couple of weeks.

"We wanted to do something for a great appeal."

The Probus Club in Hastings also got in behind it and put together a wonderful selection of gifts and food.

"We also got a great box of goodies from Family Works," Hastings co-ordinator Jo Reyngoud said.

She added that volunteers had called by some of the drop-off points and were delighted with what they saw — and ended up picking up a couple of boxes of goodies from Copy and Design which people had dropped off.

There has also been support on the "how can we help?" front, with Cliff Press Printers and Clean Earth both stepping in and offering $200 worth of services for the appeal crew.

The appeal, which runs until December 20, will help more than 3000 less fortunate members of the community, of all ages, enjoy the Christmas spirit a little more.

Gifts and toys and non-perishable food items can be left at any of the drop-off points listed.

Previously acknowledged................$3486
Napier City Council street appeal.....$832
Anonymous........................................$200
Total................................................$4518

DROP-OFF POINTS

NAPIER: Hawke's Bay Today and Classic Hits at NZME House Dickens St, Toyworld, Paper Plus Taradale, Alexander Construction, Mitre 10.

HASTINGS: Hastings Public Library, Flaxmere Library, Family Works, Hawke's Bay Today, Mitre 10, Havelock North Print and Design.