Waitara High leads way for children's ward funds

WE NEED YOU: Waitara High School head girl Natalia Hunt, head boy Sheldon Perry are challenging Taranaki schools to get behind their fundraiser.
WE NEED YOU: Waitara High School head girl Natalia Hunt, head boy Sheldon Perry are challenging Taranaki schools to get behind their fundraiser.

Waitara High School is laying down a challenge for all Taranaki schools to get on board its ambitious fundraising venture.

Spearheaded by the school's senior leaders, the project plans to raise more than $20,000 for Taranaki Base Hospital's new paediatric ward.

So far, 17 Taranaki high schools and primary schools had accepted the challenge and have planned events that will run during a dedicated fundraising week from March 18 to 22.

However, there were still 78 schools in the region that had not jumped on board.

Deputy head boy Bradley Clarke, 17, said he would love to see more high schools sign up as only four had done so this far.

"It's not every day you get the chance to do something like this, so we need to make the most of it," Bradley said.

"We would love to get more schools on board. The more the merrier."

The Waitara school plans to hold a mufti day and will also donate a third of what is earned during its work day to the cause.

Deputy head girl Kelly Flett, 17, said it was a chance for them to do something that would help the whole community.

"The paediatric ward in the hospital will benefit a lot of young people in Taranaki as well as their friends and family," Kelly said.

"It's something that we really wanted to be a part of."

Head boy Sheldon Perry said the proceeds would go towards the children's playroom, televisions for the rooms, and perhaps a video game or two if the funds allowed it.

"It could end up going towards that sort of thing. If we can get all the schools on board it might be possible," he said.

"We're fundraising for the extra things that will make being in hospital a bit better for the kids."

Principal Jenny Gellen was thrilled to see small country schools such as Toko, Ahititi, and Rawhitiroa be some of the first to sign up.

"Rawhitiroa in Eltham only have 15 students so it was neat to see them come on board," Ms Gellen said.

"It's so neat that these little country schools were willing to get involved straight away."

She said if every school in the region took part, it meant only $210 would need to come from each school to reach the target.

"In my time I don't think anything of this scale has been attempted, but when you do the math, it doesn't work out to be too much."

Ms Gellen was extremely proud of how the senior students at Waitara High had taken the fundraising into their own hands.

"It's easy to say ‘Oh it looks too hard', but they've risen to the challenge.

"We think we can do it."

Taranaki Daily News