Friday, October 16, 2020

 

 

St Laserians Special School in Carlow unveiled their new school bus. Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie

 

Handing over of keys by car dealer Anthony Dooley saw end of four-month fundraising drive, where €33,500 was raised

 

We are overwhelmed and so happy for our students’ – principal Deirdre Nolan

By Elizabeth Lee

THE wheels on the bus went round and round at St Laserian’s School, Carlow when a brand-new nine-seater was presented to school principal Deirdre Nolan on Friday.

The handing over of the keys by car dealer Anthony Dooley saw the end of a four-month fundraising drive, where €33,500 was raised.

The money was raised despite Covid-19 restrictions through a huge amount of determination and generosity.

The whole journey began in June when the school launched its fundraising campaign, with the Springhill Trust being the first to react by donating an incredible €10,000. The school had links with them in the past and, so, were overwhelmed by their generosity.

Staff from the school, including Kate, Colleen, Helen and Clodagh, Fiona and Fionn, Norah and Tamm, as well as the board of management, quickly followed with setting up money-making challenges from their homes and with their families,

Ellen, one of the students, teamed up with Thrive café in Tullow to Bake for a bus, while The Old Yard, Castledermot ran a ‘harvest bounty table’ for them, where you could swap local produce and donate to the school fund.

Paddy Kelleher, a cousin of Billy and a student at the school, raised over €6,000 by cycling from Cork to Athy.

Kids from three classes have also just completed one million steps for the bus fund and these proceeds will go towards tax, insurance and running costs.

When the funds were just about €12,000 off target, Cath and co, who have donated thousands to local charities by making masks, kindly donated their next €1,000 and, finally, Merk Sharpe and Dohme handed over just under $10,000 dollars to the fund, edging the fundraising drive over the finishing line.

Deputy principal Rachel Dolan then spoke with Anthony Dooley of Dooley Motors, another long-time supporter of the school, about purchasing the vehicle.

Amidst great excitement, the bus arrived at St Laserian’s School on Friday, which marked the end of their fundraising journey, but, no doubt, the beginning of countless other trips.

Both pupils and staff were thrilled with the new addition and in attendance at the presentation were several of the generous sponsors, including representatives of MSD, Anthony Dooley (Dooley Motors) and Cath and Co. Bishop Denis Nulty performed the blessing. Joan Harrington and her son Billy attended, David O’Flaherty (chairman Board of Management), Sue-Ellen Feeney (representing the Board of Management) and representing the pupils were Max Harvey and Rosemary Hla and their teacher Clodagh Maher.

Children from all the classes will benefit from the new transport, with trips to the local town park, Oak Park and cafés, as well as to horseriding and swimming classes.

We would like to thank every single person who gave anything in monetary terms, their time or their effort. It’s amazing what happened over the four months. We are overwhelmed and so happy for our students,” principal Deirdre Nolan and deputy principal Rachel Dolan said.

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