Christmas came early in Milan, Italy, when Piera Lauria and her friend Elena held a fabulously festive family lunch at the Caffe Teatro to raise money for our Happy House family.
Piera, her partner Oscar and their son Mattia visited the Happy House in March when they were on holiday nearby and since then have been following its progress via the website and the blog.
Piera enlisted the help of her good friend Elena in arranging the lunch which was attended by a full house of 50 guests. They used pictures of our children as table centrepieces, sitting atop handmade 3D snowflakes, added a little Christmas tree and piggy bank (for the charity) and to the children's delight organised visits from santa and La Befana (the old lady with a broom who traditionally brings gifts for Italian children on January 6).
Oscar kindly edited a film showing the Happy House opening along with Sue talking about the Happy House and its achievements which was shown to a very interested audience, helped along by a translation into Italian by Elena.
Piera said: "We wanted our guests to see the Happy house, the kids, to hear about their needs and what Sue has done and is doing for them. We also wanted to make a difference!
"We highlighted how well the children are doing and how the Happy House just gets better and better, The children look so well and happy now you have to remind yourself of how they were when they arrived, frightened, hungry, sad and neglected little beings. Most of them sick as well.
"Their lives have been transformed thanks to YOUR big hearts and effort, but it is also made possible by the kindness of others, like us, ahd we are very grateful to all those who attended our very first fundraiser for Children of Watamu.
"We are proud to have friends like you."
After a wonderful lunch, guests were enthralled by the stunning magic performed by Mr Walter Maffei.
He amazed everyone with his mastery and the children loved him, especially when they could have their pictures taken with him.
Piera said that he told her he would in Blackpool next year at the FSIM Convention and he can be found at www.waltermaffei.it
The event raised a fantastic 1,200 Euro .
Thank you to Piera, Elena, Oscar and all those who supported the lunch, your efforts will give such a huge boost to our work and we are so happy to have you as a part of our wonderful and special Happy House family. You are certainly making a difference.
Lots of love and Buon Natale a tutti voi!