College students take charity plunge
Upper Hutt College students took the option of hopping into icy cold water for the best of causes on October 27.
Fifty students, along with some staff, were part of a Heart Stopper Challenge during what was, thankfully, a sunny lunchtime.
The fearless 50, dressed in an array of outfits, hit the eight degree paddling pool water for five full minutes in a college activity into its third consecutive year.
The turnout more than doubled the numbers of a year earlier, in a top effort from the only school in the Wellington region taking up the charity challenge.
Friday’s event followed Heart Kids’ representatives talking at a senior assembly, regional family support co-ordinator Rachael Hopkirk said.
‘‘Because they had done it in the past they notified us again and we went along,’’ Hopkirk said.
The presentation included Miles Tiffen, an 18-month-old Tawa boy born with a heart condition supported by Heart Kids.
‘‘He’s our ambassador in Wellington really,’’ Hopkirk said.
The Upper Hutt students’ effort will result in the Heart Kids Wellington charity being better able to support the families of children born with congenital heart dis- ease. Hopkirk would like to see more secondary schools take up the charity challenge to support the 450 families Heart Kids Wellington currently supports. The organisation receives no government funding.
‘‘Upper Hutt College are great and we should be doing more in the colleges but in reality there are not enough hours in the day and we are mostly a volunteer organisation.’’
Upper Hutt Year 12 student Imisha Greyling was keen to be involved after the assembly.
She was in the pool with five school mates who had all been working hard on their sponsorship ahead of the day.
‘‘When the Heart Kids came and talked to the school it ignited the passion to do something ,’’ she said.
‘‘I want to be a paediatric nurse so it all makes sense.’’
Every 14 hours, a heart child is born in this country – that is 12 new babies a week or one heart baby for every 100 live births. Each year, 600 families have a newborn heart child enter their lives making congenital heart disease the most common serious birth abnormality needing ongoing medical intervention.
Upper Hutt College students turned out in good numbers for the Heart Stopper Challenge.