Big birthday bash

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David Neilson, Paul Toffolleti and Sandra Donkers.

David Neilson, Paul Toffolleti and Sandra Donkers.

Fiona Schaefer, Rosemary Stuart and Tina Hessey.

Fiona Schaefer, Rosemary Stuart and Tina Hessey.

Siblings Trish Williams, Bede Nichols, Fred Nichols and Fran Jauncey.

Siblings Trish Williams, Bede Nichols, Fred Nichols and Fran Jauncey.

Anne Bell, Debra Vanderfield and Christine Williams.

Anne Bell, Debra Vanderfield and Christine Williams.

Lois Jones, Ron Jones, Elaine Bell and Jenny Wilson.

Lois Jones, Ron Jones, Elaine Bell and Jenny Wilson.

COOMA Challenge celebrated a major milestone this week, racking up 60 years of service in the local community.

There was a big birthday bash at their Walgarra Street house on Tuesday to mark the occasion.

Dozens of people attended the celebration, sharing in memories and reminiscing while looking through old photos.

Organiser of the event, Caroline Fox was thrilled with the turnout of people who came to celebrate the milestone.

"We are delighted with the number of people who have come here today and it's amazing to see how many people have been involved over 60 years," Ms Fox said.

"It's great to have been a part of the community for such a long time."

The cutting of the birthday cake was assisted by Cooma Challenge CEO Sandra Donkers, President of the Board Lorna Rogers-Irvine and Sylvia Shain who has been involved with the organisation since it began in 1954.

Cooma Challenge first operated under the name of the Cooma branch of the Subnormal Chirldrens Welfare Association and was formed by a group who noticed that no mainstream attention was given to children who had intellectual disabilities.

The Cooma branch began schooling in the Anglican Parish Hall until the Snowy Mountains Authority donated a building on the corner of the Soho and Murray Street. This site was commonly known as Pine Lodge.

The organisation has since grown to provide a number of different services from support for school-leavers with a disability, and supported employment to respite care for people with dementia and for frail aged people.

After many changes over the years, the service took the name Cooma Challenge in 1993, and today, delivers 21 different support groups that cater towards the disabled and frail aged people in Cooma, Bombala and Jindabyne.

All people who have been involved or connected to the organisation over the past 60 years that attended the event were pleased to see the support it has provided to local communities.

As Cooma Challenge co-ordinator Christine Williams put it, it was "a very special day".

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