Big crowd puts fun in fundraiser

Dunking teachers and a mascot race added to the great success of Tahunanui School's gala.

The gala, held at the school yesterday, raised more than $24,000 and drew the largest crowds it had ever experienced.

Principal Paul Drummond said the funds would go towards developing the playground, which would included a confidence course.

The gala was a great success in raising funds as well as the atmosphere it created, Mr Drummond said.

"There were lots of things for families. That's how we gauge the success, how the families can spend the day here together doing low-cost activities."

The food hall had an international flavour with different cultures presented.

The children enjoyed the mascot race, where 12 mascots from local businesses raced over an obstacle course, he said.

Also hugely popular was the 30-metre downhill waterslide, which was rolled out each year.

Mr Drummond said he spent a lot of time in the dunking chair, where his students delighted in getting him soaked. "There were meant to be solar panels to heat the water, but I'm not sure if they were working," he joked.

Another highlight was a virtual computer game, which a family lent to the gala for the day. Mr Drummond said the game was one only of a handful in the world. Players would wear a headpiece and sit on a chair and go through a simulated rollercoaster ride.

The day also featured a silent auction of local artists' work. Some pieces brought in over $600 each. Artists' work for sale included painters Lloyd Harwood and Kathryn Furniss.