Hear, hear, to fund-raising relay race

17:00, Apr 11 2014
Tony Earl and children
FUN RUN: From left, Earl children Olivia, 7, Benji, 5, and Sadie, 4, run a lap with their dad, Tony, at Inglewood High School during a relay to raise money for cochlear implants for Benji and Sadie.

Staff and students at Inglewood High School were running and walking one-kilometre laps of the school field yesterday to support one of their own.

Head of PE Tony Earl and wife Nicola have been raising money to pay for second cochlear implants for their two youngest children, Benji, 5 and Sadie, 4.

The Government funds one cochlear implant per child, but research had shown that children do a lot better with two, so the Earls were fundraising to complete the pairs.

The implants cost $50,000 each.

Before the Cheers4ears Relay began yesterday the school had raised about $10,000, deputy principal Paula Wells said.

"Each student was challenged to raise $10. We were aiming for $5000, but we've doubled it and not all the money is in. Some students had gone away and raised $500 themselves."

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The value the school was concentrating on for term one was a strong sense of community, Wells said.

"So [the relay] is a wonderful opportunity to connect our school value with being altruistic and doing something for others."

As well as the relay there were other activities going on during the full-day event.

"The idea was to have the relay for sponsorship and activities to give the kids a really good time thanking them for efforts for raising money."

Road Safe Taranaki set up an activity where the students could try to kick a soccer ball around road cones, while wearing drunk-vision goggles, so they could see the effects of alcohol.

The longest queue was for an opportunity to throw a ball at a board in an attempt to knock a teacher into a dunking pool given by Waitara Central School.

Wells said all of the school's fundraising for the year would go to cheers4ears.

Tony Earl said the event was humbling.

The support from the school and the wider Inglewood community had been amazing, he said.

Taranaki Daily News