SOME of the lucky Donard pupils who are readying themselves to jet off to Disneyland in the New Year took time out to say thanks to everyone who has donated to their magical holiday fund.
School principal Edel Lavery said pupils, parents and staff have been simply overwhelmed by the generosity of those who contributed money for the trip.
The school set about reaching their target - which is in the thousands - through various fundraising activities. They even collected two pence pieces in a bid to gather a mile of coins.
Since their attempt began the entire district - and even people further afield - pitched in and now the school is into its third mile of coins, which translates to more than £3,000.
The Leader donated 2p from the sale of each copy of the paper in October to the fund.
Ms Lavery said she has been touched by the efforts of all those involved.
“Donard School has been overwhelmed and extremely touched by the tremendous generosity of the local community who have fully supported and embraced their Donard to Disney appeal,” said the principal.
“Children have raided their piggy banks. Local schools, local churches and businesses have given us great support providing gifts and donations as well as offering venues for fundraising events. Our 2p collection boxes have also been left in many shops and outlets throughout the community and the surrounding area. We have even had a mention on local radio stations.”
Ms Lavery paid a special tribute to staff and parents of children at the school.
“Staff at school have been so creative and have organised a range of fun and successful fundraising events and activities,” she said. “They have worked so hard and there has been a real Disney buzz in the school.
“Friends and families of the school have held their own fundraising events. Parents of pupils at school have been very committed to the trip. Many people have made personal donations instead of birthday gifts, anniversary gifts and wedding favours.
“The work of the Banbridge Leader gave our cause a great boost in raising public awareness. The generosity of everyone has allowed us to move towards our goal and we work now to enhance the experience for our pupils in a way in which we could only have dreamed.”
The principal said it would be impossible to thank each individual but she wanted to express her gratitude, and that of pupils, to all who have made the trip possible.