Arty fundraiser for massive trip

Sixty-five Flaxmere youngsters are off on the trip of their young lives in December, and they are putting their hearts and souls into making it happen.

The pinnacle of their fund-raising efforts will be the Art Evening, being held in November; and you are invited.

All 65 Irongate School year 7 and 8 students (Puawai Syndicate) are heading to remote Miru Miru Marae in Marokopa, only accessible by barge, about 150km north of New Plymouth on the west coast.

The five-day educational trip will focus on culture, the sciences, whakapapa links, and the similarities and differences between the two coasts.

“There are a lot of questions for the kids to answer,” says deputy principal and teacher Tony McCann. “Why the black sand on that coast; why is the nikau palm predominant over there; why the differences in the wildlife in the two areas; how are some or our families linked to that coast? There is so much to learn.”

Keen kids: It’s a big job fundraising to get all the way to the west coast, but these kids are determined to make it happen.

And of, course, there are all the learnings leading up to the journey. The children have been making formal presentations to businesses and artists, and proving hugely successful at getting sponsorship and works of art for the massive fund-raising art evening.

The school is on track to have 60 stunning art works available on the night of November 8, with a novel approach to how they will be ‘purchased’ by the audience. Numbered tickets to the evening cost $100 and as numbers are called out over the evening the ticket holder will choose their art work.

“There will be a lot of nerves as people wait to see if their number is called, preferably before their favourite piece has already been chosen,” said Mr McCann.

And there are some great pieces to choose from including two limited edition prints by Aroha and Friends artist Rakai Karaitiana – each valued far in excess of the $100 ticket price.

What a work: One of the limited edition prints by Aroha and Friends artist Rakai Karaitiana.

“We also have art donated by many extraordinarily talented young artists from the senior schools across our region. This is the chance to have a piece of their art before they become famous.”

The children are not only relying on their community for the $20,000 cost of the trip however, with each committed to raising $120 through their own efforts. “And they are proving very resourceful,” said Mr McCann.

“Car washes, cup-cakes, doing odd jobs for businesses, chores for family, neighbours and teachers – they are really getting into it.”

He said it had been a real pleasure watching the children rehearse their presentations and then go on to confidently approach artists and businesses, often coming away with a commitment of sponsorship or a donation of a work.

“That in itself is a great communication learning experience for them, and a real confidence builder.”

Mr McCann is urging the community to get behind the art evening, to support the youngsters and to have the chance at having a truly beautiful work of art on the wall.

As well as the works available by entry ticket, there will be a limited number of sale by purchase works available on the night. Those works will be priced by the artist, with 60 per cent of the sale price going to the travel fund.

For tickets to the Art Art Evening and to see the art works up for grabs keep an eye on the school’s Facebook page (@irongateschool).

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