Kathy McGeeney, Holly James, Shona Nugget, Helen Willis, Ruby Oakey, Suzanne Curtin and Amy Kidd at the ‘Run to Ukraine’ check presentation and fundraiser at St Mary’s NS, Bagenalstown

A BIG school and community effort in Bagenalstown raised a fantastic sum of over €2,500 for Ukrainian refugees in Carlow.

St Mary’s NS held a bake sale and sponsored ‘Race to Ukraine’ on May 27th. The event was organized by the student council, where they designed posters advertising the bake sale and also wrote a letter to parents explaining the event. Pupils and teacher/principal Kathy McGeeney calculated the distance from Carlow to Kyiv and measured the school‘s football pitch, calculating the number of laps the 102 pupils would need to run/walk to simulate a run to the Ukraine as a collective.

Parents were invited to run with their child and then enjoy some treats during the bake sale in the physical education room. There was a great sense of excitement and a lot of commotion that had been quiet in the hallways since the school closures began in 2020.

Fifth and sixth grade students organized the layout of the bake sale, making sure there were enough paper bags to wrap the tasty goods for their customers, and that rubber gloves were worn during product handling.

The bake sale received a huge response from the entire community, where delicious and creative homemade baked goods were on display. The community of St Mary’s in Bagenalstown has many talented bakers, who would rival any ***Great British Patisserie*** competitors!

A little over 100 children registered for the event and it was to everyone’s astonishment when it was announced that the sum collected amounted to €2,660. Ms McGeeney thanked everyone who sponsored the children in their run and not only for preparing the huge amount of produce for the bake sale, but also for their generosity in purchasing the delicious treats on offer.

On Friday June 3, the school hosted representatives of Ballon Refugee Center, where a check for €2,660 was presented. Suzanne Curtin from the center said all money would be used to help families arriving in Ballon waiting to be housed.

She also said that Siopa Glas in Ballon would accommodate men’s clothing, shoe store vouchers, toy store vouchers and feminine sanitary products for refugees. There were many stories of how women and children desperately wanted to change their shoes when they finally arrived in Ireland because they had walked so long that their shoes needed replacing. Vouchers for shoe shops would be appreciated, which can be sent to Siopa Glas in Ballon.

The Presentation at St Mary’s NS