Good Quota of spirit at the Christmas markets
AS THE sun set the Christmas spirit rose among the crowd gathered to celebrate the annual Quota Christmas Markets in Proserpine on Friday night.
With more than 50 stalls set up on Les Stagg Oval, it was an evening of shopping, music, dancing and, of course, plenty of food.
But it was the eagerly awaited arrival of the man in the big red suit which had everyone talking.
As Santa entered the grounds accompanied by the festive tunes delivered by Proserpine Citizen's Band, kids were bursting with excitement as they thronged the area and waited patiently to sit on Santa's lap and share what they wanted most this Christmas.
"Santa is the highlight of the evening for anyone, young or old,” event organiser Tina West said.
"It's where the kids come out and it really kick-starts the season for everyone.”
Ms West said with a few hundred people joining in the festivities, the community response was "excellent”.
"Everyone loves the grounds up here because it's nice and big and we have good lighting,” she said.
With a goal to achieve bigger and better results each year, Ms West said she hoped the total money raised this year would surpass that of last year.
"Last year our funds went to Proserpine Hospital and their monitors up there,” she said.
"Throughout (last year), Quota raised some funds and whatever was raised at the Christmas markets also last year went to that.”
She said Quota had a "few good projects” in mind for 2017 which was where money raised would be donated.
"Keep an eye out for what's happening in 2017,” she said.
Providing musical entertainment for the evening was the Proserpine Citizen's Band, Proserpine Bat Twirlers and the band Final Trim.
Dee Jays School of Dance brought an extra touch of Christmas spirit with their lively performances and a Thai Dancing Exhibition gave a unique touch.
The Brahmans also donated their time by manning the bar and canteen.
Anything purchased from the Brahmans was put towards the team.
Ms West said it was important to remember that the money raised would go straight towards the community.
"(Quota International) raises money for local charities and not-for-profit organisations in the area like all the schools, hospitals, the Proserpine Nursing Home, Whitsunday Sailability (and) Whitsunday Leisure Activity Centre,” she said.
"Every year we do the annual Christmas markets on the first Friday of December and with that, we look to put our money back in the community.
"What we do - we don't ask for a lot.
"We just ask you to give back to the community.”
Ms West said the evening wouldn't have been the success it was without the ongoing support from its sponsors and, in particular, the Quota members who gave their time.