Giant Santa makes big difference to little girl

Merry Christmas: Katelyn Burnett and Jason Wood want you to stop by their Tahmoor home and donate some money to help a brave little girl. Picture: Simon Bennett
Merry Christmas: Katelyn Burnett and Jason Wood want you to stop by their Tahmoor home and donate some money to help a brave little girl. Picture: Simon Bennett

Katelyn Burnett is hoping one big Santa will make one big difference.

The Tahmoor resident and her partner Jason Wood launched their 30-foot (nine metres) high inflatable Santa Claus at the end of their driveway on in mid-November.

But it wasn’t just for the festive spirit – the pair turned their giant attraction into a fundraiser for a brave little girl.

Picton’s Montana Lockett suffers from a rare condition called metabolic ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC), which means she struggles to break down protein.

Ms Burnett, who works at Katie’s Kindergarten and Early Learning centre where Montana used to attend, said there had been a great response to the little girl’s fundraiser.

“I’ve learnt a lot about people that I didn’t know suffered from something similar,” she said. “All these people with OTC are coming out of the woodwork.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated.”

Ms Burnett and Mr Wood have been holding sausage sizzles to go along with the Santa every weekend to collect donations.

She said the community had been very generous and already donated more than $500 to Montana’s cause.

Additionally, Little Elves Childcare Centre in Bargo donated $500 alone.

Ms Burnett said the funds would go a long way to helping Montana’s family.

“Montana has been on the liver transplant list and needs round-the-clock care at this stage,” she said.

“Her parents have had to take time off work which has been real strain for them.

“She also has to go to Westmead Children’s Hospital three or more times a week.

“This money will help ease the burden on them for a little bit.”

Ms Burnett said Montana, six, was “part of the family” at the child care centre and everyone was keen to see her family get as much help as possible.

The giant Santa – in Ambleton Place, Tahmoor – will be up again this Friday and Saturday, from 6pm-9pm.

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