Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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21/12/2006 FESTIVE FUND-RAISING AT LORETO COLLEGE

The Autumn term came to its traditional close at Loreto College Coleraine with the annual Mission Day.  Raising money for the Loreto Missions, with particular emphasis on the Loreto schools in Entally and Calcutta, India, the Mission Day is a Christmas tradition at Loreto College Coleraine.  Students took part in a vast array of fund-raising activities in the course of the day – ceilis, five-a-side soccer tournaments, hotly-contested bingo games and a staff vs. boys soccer match were among the activities on offer.  For many, the highlight was a visit to Santa’s Grotto – students were able to engage in reasoned, thoughtful debate with the resident Santa, as well as having their fortunes told by the Mysterious Mrs Claus.  A very popular attraction was Santa’s Kitchen – the café opened for the day in the Home Economics department, serving a variety of seasonal delicacies throughout the morning.  A popular new addition this year was the “Loreto X Factor”.  Following two weeks of auditions and rehearsals attracting over forty groups of would-be performers, the entrants were whittled down to a final twelve.  These talented groups performed for a capacity audience in the College Hall, to be met with a mixture of praise and criticism from three judges: impersonators of Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh from among the teaching staff.  After all this excitement, most students were glad to relax and watch a film, while the sixth formers took part in a very hotly contested game of “Deal or No Deal”. 

The Mission Day raised a total of over £4000 for its designated cause, which will be received with great appreciation from the Loreto sisters in India and Peru, who have close links with their sister establishment in Coleraine.

This event was the highlight of a term’s industrious fund-raising by Loreto College students.  During the term,  the  College’s Year 11 students sent a cheque for £1869.50 to Action MS in September, which was raised through the Action MS Walk in Somerset Forest at the end of the 2006 Summer Term.  Year 14 students, along with staff, raised £473.42 for Macmillan Cancer Care through the annual Coffee Morning in late September.  Later in the term, Year 14 held a pink-themed Coffee Morning for Breast Cancer, raising £421.23.  As happens every November, Year 8 and Year 9 took part in the annual Sponsored Spell while Year 10 took part in Sponsored Circuit Training, raising money for a number of charities: the Loreto School in Sudan, Children in the Crossfire and the Christian Aid Moldova Appeal.  The current total for this appeal in £3300, and counting.  Finally, in late November, over fifty senior students participated in the annual Concern Christmas Fast: the money has not yet been counted, but participation and enthusiasm for this initiative were high.

The students and the teachers who co-ordinated all these events – Social Justice co-ordinator Miss B Toner and Missions co-ordinator Mrs Mabel McAleese – were congratulated on this magnificent total by Mr Brian Lenehan, Principal of Loreto College.