Cruising with Benji


On Wednesday December 14, Wests Tigers players Benji Marshall, Chris Heighington and Bronson Harrison played Santa for children in the Surgical Ward of Westmead Children?s Hospital.

Joining the NRL stars was Leanne Jennings, the winner of the Cruisin? with Benji Promotion. As the winner Jennings joined Marshall and the other players for some Christmas shopping at Birkenhead Point before cruising over to Westmead Children?s Hospital to deliver the presents.

The entourage gave out in excess of 500 presents. They spent over 2 hours with the children, talking and autographing all forms of merchandise and memorabilia. "It was great to spend a couple of hours with the children and put a smile on their faces" Marshall said. The boys also commented on the effect the visit had on them.

"The kids put a smile on our faces as well. They are so brave and have great courage, they are an inspiration to us all".

Debra Fowler, Public Relations Officer for the Children?s Hospital, said the players were a ?big hit?.

?The players brought so much cheer to the ward. They showed an interest and chatted with the children while handing out the presents. The day was fantastic and the players are welcome here anytime?.

Birkenhead Point, who supplied many of the gifts, said they were more than happy to do so as an act of Christmas good will.

?It is unfortunate that these children must spend Christmas in hospital, for both the child and their family. The least the community can do is get involved and make their stay more enjoyable.? Said Marketing Manager Grace Bechara.

Proton Cars Australia, who ran the Cruisin? with Benji Promotion, also donated money for the children?s gifts. Managing Director John Startari spoke of the importance of such a donation.

?Backing Wests Tigers is about more than having Proton?s name on the jersey, it is about being a partner with them and getting involved in the many community backed events the team is involved in?.

Proton Wests Tigers are committed to helping the community and this will continue throughout the 2007 season.