James and Jessica Ford won a $500 Australian Geographic Dinosaur Prize Pack thanks to the Bendigo Marketplace Facebook Community.
Winners of Bendigo Marketplace’s Baby T-Rex Photo Competition, Jessica and James Ford collected over $500 worth of Dinosaur goodies thanks to support on Facebook.
With 335 likes on Friday 24 April 2015, the overwhelming support for the family made their photo the most popular of the bunch, but for the Ford family, their win was much bigger.
James, who has autism and communication difficulties, finds social situations more challenging than the average seven-year-old boy; but he does love dinosaurs.
So, with the support of mum, Melissa, sister, Jessica, and Righteous Pups Assistance Dog/best friend, Gilbert, James braved the crowds and queues at Bendigo Marketplace to have his very own photo taken with Baby T-Rex.
Soon after the photos were uploaded, James’ mother Melissa started a campaign for James to win his ultimate Dinosaur prize, and was overwhelmed by the local support giving him the win.
“Thank you to everyone who knows James that took the time to vote, he is a very lucky little man.
“Dinosaurs have always been his obsession. When he turned four he finally spoke, unable say mum or dad… but he could say dinosaur,” she said.
Melissa does admit though, with James inviting everyone he meets to Jurassic Park in his backyard, that he had a fairly good chance to win.
Bendigo Marketplace Marketing Manager Dannielle Downs and founder of Bendigo’s Sensitive Santa initiative for special needs children knows how challenging photo opportunities can be.
“Meeting James in the queue to have his photo taken, you could see how well supported he was. He was extremely excited and it was and it was amazing to see his older sister Jess helping him out”, she said.
“For a ten-year-old, Jess’s patience and maturity was something we can all learn from. She knew just how much her little brother James loved dinosaurs and was thrilled to be able to give him the entire prize, filled with plenty of toys and books from Australian Geographic Bendigo Marketplace.”
Runners up Flynn and Oliver Corboy, and Jax Dennis, were also very excited to collect their Australian Geographic Prize Packs.