PLC Armidale is well known for its Community Service Program. School Chaplain, Jennifer Leahy, supports the girls with many community service activities and says, “As a Christian School, a large part of our ethos is outward focus; service is an integral part of what it means to be a Christian.”
At school, we work to develop that sense of service in each girl and support them to volunteer and serve others. Our aim is to support the girls to understand where they fit as part of the wider world and to create a pattern and framework that fosters a lifelong love of service.” Jennifer also co-ordinates activities week each year: “PLC Serving the Community. This concept reflects the ethos of service,” says Jennifer. “Each girl selects a service activity. Our final week of school sees us actively engaged in supporting and working with different community groups – a worthwhile way to end the busy school year.” A recent fundraiser held at PLC was Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon Day. We caught up with Alyssa Goode and Laura Jermyn, part of the new leadership team at PLC, to find out about a recent, quite hilarious and successful fundraiser in support of women’s breast cancer.
Where did the idea come from for this innovative and hilarious fundraiser?
Laura: One afternoon we began brainstorming possible ideas. We wanted something that appealed to all ages at school, something that was different and hadn’t been done before at PLC. Alyssa: The idea was suggested by Laura as an original, effective and fun way to raise money for this cause. We loved it; a photo booth was completely new! So did the girls, and they were motivated and willing to participate, have fun and donate to this great cause.
Why did you choose this Pink Ribbon Day?
Laura: Every year the PLC Armidale SRC chooses different fundraisers to support and raise awareness for particular organisations. Pink Ribbon Day was chosen as a whole school fundraising event run by the SRC to be organised by Year 11. This cause is very relevant as we are an all-girls school, and breast cancer is a female dominated disease.
PLC are involved in a lot of community service work and fundraisers. How do the girls decide what to fundraise for each year?
Laura: The fundraisers each year are chosen by the SRC. All students can nominate organisations or causes to support, then the SRC votes on which causes we will support. Each different year group nominates to organise a particular fundraiser to donate to and raise awareness for. Alyssa: Fundraising is decided in a collaborative way through the SRC. Fundraising and Community Service is an integral part of PLC Armidale, and fundraising is a team effort. We try to be innovative in our approach and have fun while contributing to the cause.
Tell us a little about the day and how it worked.
Alyssa: There was plenty to do organising things for the day beforehand. When lunchtime arrived, the fun began! Everyone lined up for photos wearing multiple pink accessories that were provided; there was plenty of laughter – no problems getting smiles for the photos. All students could also wear a pink ribbon in their hair on the day for support. Laura: The PLC girls started the day wearing pink, as they arrived at school with a pink ribbon in their hair. Hair ribbons were worn or bought for a small donation at school for the entire day. Lunch was when all the fun began, as PLC girls and teachers ‘Partied in Pink’! The pink dress up photo booth was set up in the PLC grounds, and soon girls and teachers flocked to get their photo taken. The girls and teachers were able to get 3 photos taken, dressed up in pink costumes and accessories. The photos were then printed out for the girls to take home all for a small donation.
What do you think was the funniest part of the event?
Alyssa: Two of our male teachers took the time to dress in pink, one wearing a full pink suit and the other with a pink wig, which was really hilarious. It shows that you don’t have to be a female to support such an excellent cause. Laura: It was great to see all the girls and teachers getting involved and having so much fun getting dressed up and enjoying the time with their friends in photos. One of the funniest parts was the posing and faces being pulled by the PLC girls and the teachers, especially the men. Some of the older participants were reliving their childhood as they were able to dress up.
What were the most popular outfits?
Alyssa: Anything pink! From scarves to umbrellas, dresses to fairy wings, shorts to bags. Anything pink was perfect for the occasion. Laura: The most popular outfits and accessories would have had to be the pink, sparkly feather boas, the fairy skirts and wings. Also, the pink scarfs and umbrellas were pretty popular with many girls.
As part of the 2012 leadership team, what ideas do you have for the year ahead?
Alyssa: A stronger connection between primary and secondary school and raising awareness of the inequalities that exist in Australia – not just internationally, but particularly nationally. Laura: We look forward to the opportunity to support many other worthwhile causes in 2012 and to hearing and sharing other students’ ideas through the SRC. We would like to make a positive difference and help others achieve their goals.
How important do you think it is to be outward focused and give back?
Alyssa: Giving back is a part of life and a very valuable lesson which should be learnt for all. If you give, then maybe in the future, when you least expect, you may need the research and developments that your donations are going towards. Laura: I think it is very important to be outward focused and give back, as it’s the idea of us having so much and we have the opportunity and the resources to be able to help others and support some very worthwhile causes. It allows you to share and pass on some of your good fortune and achievements and help someone else to achieve and benefit from your contribution.
Thanks Jennifer, Alyssa and Laura.