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Merewether High School a ‘cut above the rest’

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Merewether High School (MHS) is definitely a cut above the rest – and its recent fundraising endeavours prove it.

The educational facility took out the top award for the highest national team, in the schools’ category, for this year’s World’s Greatest Shave campaign.

Incredibly, MHS amassed $119,407 to beat its nearest rivals, from Perth, by more than $8,000; and surpassed its own goal of $80,000.

The Year 12 prefects organised a multitude of activities, including a Raffle for Remedy, Bunnings barbecues, bake sales, Fun Friday competitions, to name a few, over an eight-week period.

And, on Thursday 1 September, the Leukaemia Foundation presented principal Rochelle Dooley, and students Emily Bryant, Charlie Lentfer and Cooper Ivory, with a commemorative plaque – in front of a huge assembly – for being “number one” in Australia.

“They were brilliant,” said Adrian Leggett, the charity’s representative.

“In the past financial year, we had 556 schools, nationally, raise money for the cause.

“The overall average was $6,500.

“But, two schools – including Merewether – passed the $100,000 mark.

“What MHS accumulated will fund 14,092 counselling sessions, pay for four years’ worth of accommodation and, of course, go towards finding a cure.”

Mr Leggett said he couldn’t thank the local pupils “enough”.

“They’re a terrific bunch of kids,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“However, it’s great to see schools get behind the initiative, too.

“And, for one like Merewether, it’s become something more than a fundraiser.

“Their achievement builds every year; plus, it also builds tradition.

“It’s probably the same for other schools throughout Australia, however Merewether can be extremely proud of what they’ve done.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the 2023 prefects,” he added with a laugh.

“But, we’ll just start again – and see what happens.”

Ms Dooley, herself, had trouble containing her excitement.

“It is a hugely remarkable achievement ($119,407),” she said.

“It’s an honour and absolute testament to the group of students we’ve had here leading this in 2022.

“They talk about leaving their mark.

“And, they’ve well and truly left a phenomenal legacy for the other prefects, and pupils, to follow in the future.

“MHS has done marvellously [for the World’s Greatest Shave] each year.

“The youngsters are very competitive; and they try to outdo the previous cohort’s efforts.

“The Leukaemia Foundation is a charity that resonates with young people.

“They want to do something for those in their age group.

“So, we’ve wished our incoming prefects all the best for 2023.

“However, when challenged, our students rise to the top.

“It’s something we try to instil in our pupils… to have that strong social conscience, which they certainly do.

“They all possess that ability to make a difference.”

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