FOR most people, Christmas is about giving something back to the community and looking out for someone in need and that’s exactly what it’s all about for one milk-loving family from Berry.
The Clarkes from Clarence Street have spent more than 20 hours, used over 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 found out about a two-year-old boy named Dexter from Kiama who has cerebral palsy, a vision impairment and cancer, 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 have made their unique Christmas display bigger than ever, hoping to raise money for the brave child.
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 on Friday the 13th, was nine weeks premature and diagnosed with level four spastic quadriplegia at just one month of age.
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 but needless to say he is a cancer survivor.
Dexter’s mother Lenice said the past two years had been difficult but they have been lucky to have met some of the most 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 very fun and rewarding, especially when he saw how much the younger children enjoyed it.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting Dexter,” he said.
From the milk crates, provided by Dairy Farmers, 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 specially 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 outdo her creativity.
The Clarkes will be giving away flavoured
milks 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.