Dawn’s red light specials still light up the hospital

Brooke RolfeSouth Western Times

Bringing joy to those visiting the hospital over the festive period is the goal of 71-year-old Dawn Collins who, for the 10th year, has decked out Bunbury Hospital’s reception area with her personal collection of Christmas decorations.

She has been volunteering at the hospital’s gift shop for 38 years and started her quest to make visitors smile after realising her antique decorations were going unused.

Mrs Collins and her late husband Paul used to hold an annual Christmas party at home, for which they collected big quantities of decorations from “Big W’s Red Light specials”.

She said they would hit the shops every Thursday and take advantage of the bargain buys, some of which were only 50 cents.

While she still keeps an eye out for well-priced decorations, Mrs Collins said finding comparable items had proven a challenging task.

“You can’t buy any of these things anymore,” Mrs Collins said.

She said members of the public liked bringing their children to see the display, and they would often pick out their favourites.

Receptionist Pauline Maslin said the decorations had a profound influence on the hospital’s atmosphere.

“It brings a smile to people’s faces - children and adults alike,” Mrs Maslin said.

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