It was a day when the uniforms were left at home but the outfitting of the fund-raising campaign for Relay for Life was dressed in some style.
A day, too – as if there have been any days when the memory of her hasn’t been shadowing the corridors and classrooms since her untimely passing last November – when word came through that Relay’s Education and Awareness programme has been renamed after the Loreto Convent school’s former Principal, Nora Friel.
On Tuesday of this week, the students at the Letterkenny secondary school arrived in for class on non-uniform day with each of them contributing two euro to the cause.
With the Transition Year students entering a team for this year’s Relay for Life Donegal event – scheduled to take place towards the end of May – it was an opportunity to raise the necessary funding and when proceeds were totted up, it totalled an impressive 1,462 euro.
“We were going to have a cake sale to help in the raising of the money but we’ve actually gone over our target now,” declared T.Y. student, Aoife O’Donnell from Letterkenny.
Aoife has attended the Relay initiative and enjoyed the atmosphere. And as a pupil at Lurgybrack National School had been involved in helping to produce a video to highlight Relay for Life.
Her classmate, Eimear McBrearty from Newtowncunningham, revealed there were between forty to fifty girls involved in the Loreto team. “We’re very pleased with the money we have raised today,” she indicated.
Like so many others, both girls know of people who have gone through the cancer journey.
For acting Principal, Sr. Geraldine Mullen, there was, as with all the staff and student numbers, the legacy of the school’s late and much-lamented Principal.
“Nora was a great supporter of Relay for Life and always took part in it herself. She was a wonderful personality and this school will never forget her and her contribution to education here and to the life of the community.”
Sr Ger announced to the student body on Tuesday that she had received a letter that morning from Relay chairperson, Robert O’Connor, confirming that, in conjunction with Mulroy College Principal, Fiona Temple, and the committee they would be honouring Nora Friel by renaming the Education and Awareness Programme after her.
“It ensures that Nora’s legacy lives on in helping other people,” said the acting Principal.
Following her passing in early November, the Loreto school community helped raise around 7,000 euro for the Donegal Hospice in her memory and that of another victim of cancer, Annie Sweeney, mother of teacher, Amelia Sweeney.
“Nora was admitted to hospital on her 59th birthday and became critically ill from the next day. She never actually made it to the Donegal Hospice but we decided to organise a fund-raising effort by holding cake sales and producing Christmas cards.
“Blaze Basketball also contributed to the campaign along with Nora’s family and Amelia’s fund-raising efforts in memory of her mother.”
The Student Council also organised a raffle as part of the trade fair at the school.
Meanwhile, the Loreto’s Relay for Life team, led by Ciara Murray, is busy preparing for the forthcoming 24-hour event.
It will be staged at the Letterkenny I.T. campus from Saturday, May 25th to Sunday, 26th, from 5.p.m. to 5.p.m.
“We will have a tent there and take it in turns to walk the circuit,” said Aoife.
While all schools in the county are encouraged to take part in the 13 hour Nora Friel Education and Awareness Programme, it is not a requirement for the respective schools to enter a team in the Relay event, the chairperson pointed out.
Relay committee member, Siubhan Gillespie, is the designated contact for the Education and Awareness programme and can be reached at email@example.com or by telephoning 087-6816149.Tags: