Wetherby High School students selling ducks for Wetherby Duck Race

Top-selling students Chloe Wilkinson, Bella Pilling, Demi Weston, Darcy Diclemente, Jessica Brent, Jessica Sturgess, and Joshua Quinn with Malcolm Bolland and Jon Handley of Wetherby District Lions Club, and Wetherby High School assistant headteacher Gareth King.

An astounding £812 has been raised by Wetherby High School students selling ducks for Wetherby Duck Race.

The nine children who sold the most ducks were rewarded with tailor-made hoodies, given as thanks by duck race organisers Wetherby District Lions Club.

Students will also be at the race and Wetherby Food Festival helping out and selling home-made cakes. All proceeds will go to the York Rescue Boat – a charity dedicated to proactive safety around the rivers in York.

Wetherby High School has a close link with the cause, as former student Megan Roberts died after drowning in the River Ouse last year.

Her mum Jackie said: “I am really touched and moved by what the children have done in memory of Megan.

“I have been a supporter of York Rescue Boat since Megan died, so I think it is fantastic they have raised that amount of money.”

Three of the top sellers are Bella Pilling, 11, who raised £88, Chloe Wilkinson, 12, who raised £52, and Demi Weston, 11, who raised £39.

Bella said: “I like how all the money goes to charity. If it didn’t they couldn’t help people.

“They don’t get paid, they do it out of their own kindness, and now they know people are behind them.”

Demi said: “The hoodies are really cool. I like all the badges on them, especially the logo with the butterfly for Megan Roberts.”

Wetherby Lions president Malcolm Bolland said the club was amazed at how well the ducks had sold at the school.

“It is delightful to hear the youngsters have gone to all that effort,” he said.

“It is a new venture for us so it is important that we get things up and running, and the students’ efforts have made that possible already.

“The younger they are when they start thinking about other people and their community, the better for the community in the long run, and we are really impressed with what the students have managed to achieve.”

The joint fundraising efforts between Wetherby High School and Wetherby Lions mark the start of a long term relationship.

There are four houses at the school and each house chooses a charity to raise money for throughout the year. Next year Wetherby Lions will be one of the charities as increasingly local causes are chosen.

Wetherby High School assistant headteacher Gareth King said: “Our link with the Lions is starting to come to fruition now and we want that to be a solid working partnership.

“We are all about the community, which is why we are working with the Lions, and the children have done remarkably doing what they have off their own back.”

Wetherby Duck Race will see 2,000 ducks swim a 300 metre course down the River Wharfe at 11am on July 12.

The cost to enter a duck is £2 and tickets are available from Hopscotch Shoes, Sant’ Angelo, Treasure Toys, Sweet Temptation, and Cool Kidz.

The race is part of Wetherby Food Festival, held from July 10 to July 12.

Students Chloe Wilkinson, Bella Pilling, Demi Weston, Darcy Diclemente, Jessica Brent, Jessica Sturgess, and Joshua Quinn get a big thumbs up from the Wetherby District Lions Club.

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