CHS girls raise $4000 from movie night

Cambridge High School (CHS) students Ella Buffery and Ashlin Long with some of the cushions used at their movie night, now going to the Salvation Army, and the two $2000 cheques they presented to charity. Flanking them are, from left, their teacher Tina Rose-Dutton, The Salvation Army’s Shaun Baker, Ashlin’s mum Sheryl Long, and CHS principal Greg Thornton.

Money raised by Cambridge High School students Ashlin Long and Ella Buffery through a schools budgeting competition has been presented to two charities.

The Salvation Army and Asthma Waikato each received $2000, raised by the enterprising pair through a community movie night they hosted at Cambridge Raceway last month and attended by around 170 people.

They were able to organise the event after winning $5000 in a ‘Money Jam’ budgeting competition run by Sorted in Schools, a Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) initiative that seeks to enhance financial knowledge among young people.  Ashlin and Ella heard about the competition pre-lockdown from their teacher and head of the school’s commerce department, Tina Rose-Dutton. With that win under their belt, the girls decided to use the opportunity to do something for the community, particularly given the difficulties faced by many this year, and organised the gold-coin entry movie screening of ‘Dolittle’ in mid-November.

They used the $5000 to set up a website, and organise food, drink and prizes for the relaxed ‘BYO cushion’ affair. The $1000 not allocated to one of the two charities covered those expenses.

“There were a lot more people there than we had expected,” said Ella.

Tina said the screening was preceded by a performance by the CHS dance group. “Ashlin and Ella did a great job. They didn’t have to give so much of their budgeting competition prize away, but they wanted to give it to charity.”

The girls chose The Salvation Army for the work it does in the community, and picked Asthma Waikato as the second recipient.

Ashlin, whose mum Sheryl Long is an asthma educator and general manager for Asthma Waikato, said she knew a few people with the condition and suffered from it herself. “It is really important to be able to help an organisation like that.  They do such a lot for people with asthma.”

Sheryl said the money would be used to provide ‘asthma bags’ for children. “They can put their inhalers and spacers in the bag and take it with them wherever they go.”

The Salvation Army’s Shaun Baker said the donated money would go towards helping families in need at Christmas.  “We’re one of the social agencies involved with Cambridge Committee of Social Services (CCOSS). Last year we helped 70 families … this year it will be over 100 because of Covid-19. We are very grateful to the girls for this donation. It will enable us to help more people at Christmas.”

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