IT WAS an action packed last day of term for students and teachers at the Red Cliffs Secondary College last Friday afternoon, with a number of activities planned to raise funds to help research into the cause of Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Following in the footsteps of the recent ‘Big Freeze 8’ event at the MCG, where sporting personalities and TV stars braved the cold, sliding into a pool of ice to raise a whopping $19.8million for the fight against MND on Global MND Awareness Day, students at the Red Cliffs College decided they wanted to have a fund raising event too.

The College’s science teacher, Laura Caruana, who is also involved with the school’s Student Representative Committee (SRC), said that the kids had seen the Big Freeze at the ‘G’ and they thought they could do something similar to raise money for MND.

“Basically what we have decided to do today is assemble a large number of students and staff who have volunteered to sit and have a bucket of ice water poured over their head for which people have paid $5 to do,” Ms Caruana said.

“If they prefer they can be squirted with a ‘super-soaker’ water pistol full of icy water and they pay $2 to do that!

“And so we have had kids collecting money from people who are keen to ice a certain student or teacher, so it should be lots of fun!

“Today is a free-dress day with the theme colours blue and grey – the MND colours- and we have plenty of kids wearing their beanies.”

Ms Caruana said that the students were quite knowledgeable in regard to what MND and they recently had a discussion about the disease in their pastoral care session.

“We have ‘check-in’ pastoral care sessions every morning for 10 minutes and as part of our pastoral care this week we talked about what MND is and we played the television advertisement which features the footy celebrities who are ‘the voice’ of Neale Daniher now that he can’t speak for himself,” she said.

“We have also has some students who have been personally touched by MND and our principal has also been impacted by it, and so it is a cause that is close to us.

“Everyone is involved here today. We have a lot of fun activities lined up and in addition to the ice bucketing there will be tug of war with different year levels against each other and we also have three-legged races – just good wholesome fun to wrap up the terms.”

School Captain and member of the SRVC executive Denize Karakaya said that the students had wanted to raise money for MND, which they said was an important issue in the community.

“MND gets a lot of publicity from the AFL and so lots of students were showing interest towards it and so here we are today,” Denize said.

“We have raised more than $700 so far which is great.

“Bringing students together as well as the community to raise awareness for such an important cause is something we are happy to be doing and having fun at the same time.”

College principal, Dennis Mitchell, has had a personal experience with the impact MND can have on families.

“Personally, I lost a very close family member to MND, but I haven’t had any influence with what is happening today. It is all the students work,” he said.

“This is something that the kids have taken on board and of course there is a lot of national media around the cause and so today’s fund-raiser is a wonderful initiative of the students.

“I will be getting a bucketing of icy water at some stage soon! I guess the act of thinking about the community and others by the kids is pretty awesome and we are happy about the fact that these young people are thinking about others.”

The actions of the students at Red Cliffs Secondary College speaks volumes for the school’s values, a key plank of which is compassion. Well done kids!