$500 raised to adopt falcon
A Year 7 Fairhall School pupil raised $500 in just over a week to symbolically adopt a falcon for his school.
Cameron Jones, 11, organised a series of events, including two bake sales and a Falcon Day at school to raise the money after his class was asked to take action to help an animal.
Cameron has always had an interest in falcons, and chose the bird for several reasons, he said.
"I'm interested in it because it's a bird of prey.
"It's local, and only found in New Zealand, so it's quite special to us."
With the help of the three members of his group, Cameron organised a Falcon Day at school and enlisted the help of parents for a bake sale, which raised more than $200.
A second bake sale for the teachers was less successful, bringing in about $40.
"We don't have many teachers," he said.
In May, Cameron was awarded $50 for selling the most raffle tickets while fundraising for the Year 7 and 8 school camp in Wellington, which he put towards the falcon fundraiser.
His mum, Iona Jones, said she was not surprised by her son's success."He's pretty determined when he gets something in his mind," she said.
"I was so proud of him for giving up the money he won for the raffle; he spent hours down at New World selling those tickets."
Cameron also helped out at his father's winery, Mrs Jones said, working for bottles of wine that were then sold to teachers at his school.
"He was down there two or three times during vintage, plunging and washing the bins – all the dirty stuff."
The falcon, named "Swoop" by the students of Fairhall School, is in an aviary and will be freed into the wild when he is older, Cameron said.
Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust trustee Amanda Simcic said the money will go towards feeding and housing Swoop and his friends.
It was the first student-driven school donation, she said.
"What he did was incredible, it's absolutely huge," Mrs Simcic said. "Five hundred dollars goes a long way."
- The Marlborough Express