Young­sters pitch­ing in

Rais­ing cash for the lo­cal care cen­tre

Napier Courier - - FRONT PAGE - BY BRENDA VOW­DEN brenda.vow­[email protected]

A free pick up and drop off ser­vice for chil­dren at­tend­ing Sunny Days Early Child­hood Care and Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre has just had a boost, with a $1000 cheque from Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High In­ter­act clubs last week.

Napier Boys’ High School (NBHS) In­ter­act club pres­i­dent Sukhjin­der Singh was the main or­gan­iser for the project, where both high schools’ clubs sup­ported each other to raise the money. Af­ter rais­ing funds for prostate can­cer last year, they de­cided to try and make it lo­cal this year.

“We wanted to show the com­mu­nity that the youth in Napier is do­ing some­thing to make the com­mu­nity a bet­ter place,” Sukhjin­der says.

From a short list of po­ten­tial or­gan­i­sa­tions they could fundraise to­wards, Sukhjin­der says the Napier Fam­ily Cen­tre stood out.

“With the en­ergy they had in our first meeting and the drive they have to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion for the youth as well as adults who are less for­tu­nate, we found it truly in­spir­ing. The least we could do was to fundraise a bit of money for them to buy a new van for their early child­hood cen­tre, Sunny Days.”

Kath Cur­ran from the Napier Fam­ily Cen­tre says the van is old and needs re­plac­ing.

“We can­not risk it break­ing down. Par­ents tell us that their child would not be able to at­tend early learn­ing if there wasn’t a free van ser­vice. Many fam­i­lies will have one car that is needed by the par­ent work­ing or, if Mum needs to take care of a wee baby, then the older sib­ling does not need to miss out on early learn­ing. Some fam­i­lies just

need the ex­tra help as they may be strug­gling. The fundrais­ing that these young peo­ple are do­ing for us has also helped our grant ap­pli­ca­tions to­wards the $35,000 cost of a new van as fun­ders like to see ef­forts at grass­roots.”

The clubs — 20 from NBHS and 15 from NGHS — have been fundrais­ing for this project since the start of Term 3, be­gin­ning with a car wash at school and ended with a sausage siz­zle at the Watch­man Road open­ing cer­e­mony.

“It has only been around six months, but we have learnt so much over these months and have def­i­nitely come out with more knowl­edge that we came in with.” Sukhjin­der says there’s also some­thing about giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity that feels re­ward­ing.

“Espe­cially af­ter all the work that has been put in by us, we are very ex­cited with the out­come of our hard work.”

With the tar­get of $1000 ex­ceeded, the ex­tra is be­ing put aside for next year.

“We achieved our tar­get hap­pily and the lit­tle bit ex­tra will be held on for next year to help with the fundrais­ers that we will most def­i­nitely be hold­ing.”

In­ter­act is the ju­nior arm of Ro­tary for 12-18 year olds.

NBHS In­ter­act Club is men­tored by the Ro­tary Club of Ahuriri (Napier) Inc and NGHS has a men­tor from Ro­tary Club of Napier.

“We try to have a Ro­tary mem­ber at each of their meet­ings, just as guid­ance, but the girls and boys make their own de­ci­sions and

or­gan­ise all their own projects,” says Ro­tary Club of Ahuriri mem­ber Lynne An­der­son.

Next year’s re­cip­i­ent will be de­cided by the lead­ers of the clubs. Sukhjin­der says part of the In­ter­act Club is to give ev­ery­one a go with lead­er­ship po­si­tions and help ev­ery­one un­der­stand what goes on in a club and how to man­age one.

“It is def­i­nitely a likely op­tion that we will fundraise for the Napier Fam­ily Cen­tre again in the fu­ture.”

Kath says the Fam­ily Cen­tre has been filled with ad­mi­ra­tion for the NBHS and NGHS stu­dents.

“Their en­ergy and skills in their events have brought us a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion and in­spired our team to fundraise too.

“It lifts our spir­its to see these young lead­ers in ac­tion.”

Napier Girls’ High School and Napier Boys’ High School stu­dents with chil­dren from Sunny Days Early Child­hood Cen­tre pic­tured with their cur­rent van: (front from left) Kay­dence Sparks, Clarissa Li­lananda, John­son Heremi­aBrown, Kahlee-Hana Ta­mati-Keil, Alice Oliver, Tiare Rima-Ng­amotu and Daniel Lynch. (From back left) Ana Mur­phy, Eastern-Kapree Mansell Taane, Emma Chard, Zoe Wood, Sukhjin­der Singh, Mi­h­nea Vlad and Sol Cer­son.

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