Breaching the Gap

Breaching the Gap

The New Zealand Herald headlined luxurious holidays in the south of France or Rarotonga and an internship in New York as being among the prizes on offer at an extravagant school fundraiser. They may be, said the Herald, the kind of prizes most parents can only dream of as they turn another sausage at the annual school fair.  But they'll be on offer, continued the Herald, at next Saturday's "Fizz and Quiz" night at an exclusive Auckland school for girls.

A 41-page catalogue detailing the auction items set the scene for the opulent evening where guests would "reach for French bubbles under a backdrop of gorgeous crystals, flowers, a fountain and some of the world's finest fabrics".

Organisers said the money raised at the "stellar event" would be spent on arts scholarships, mentoring opportunities and "new acquisitions for our contemporary art collection".

A couple of kilometers away, and unreported by the Herald, the students of an inclusive school for girls, Marist College in Mt Albert, were also raising money.  Appropriately they chose “Marist Day,” their patronal feast day, to carry out a range of activities, from a concert to a gold coin collection, from different ethnic food stalls to a small ice-cream parlour.  And the money raised from this celebratory event?  Some of the students had earlier visited Kaingaroa Forest School on the Young Marist Neighbours programme, and they had come back with stories of the school having access to the internet via ultra-fast broadband --- but no computers for the students.  The solution for the Marist students was simple:  the money raised on their feast day, which would normally go to some project at their own school, would go to Kaingaroa Forest School.  

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Two months later, eight brand new laptops graced the desks of the Year 7 and 8 students at Kaingaroa.  They still do, precious windows to the outside world, vital tools for learning in a modern environment, gifted by people whom they have never met, and most of whom have never met them.  “What it’s about,” said the students at Marist, is living the Gospel in a Marist way --- there’s no fanfare, no headlines, just sharing what we have and trusting that it will make someone’s day brighter.”