In a sea of blue, Boggabri Sacred Heart School opened its arms, wallets and hearts to show unconditional support to Rick McEvoy and Errol Darley while raising money for FightMND last Friday.

What better way to end the school term than to have some fun while supporting these two gentleman who have Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and raise awareness and funds for research to find effective treatments, develop better care and ultimately discover a cure.

Mr McEvoy is a past principal of the school and Mr Darley is the husband of a teacher at the school.

Katie Goddard led the Sacred Heart School team, welcoming everyone and acknowledging those who assisted and donated on the day saying, “through the collective efforts of the generous Boggabri and Sacred Heart community we will raise awareness and assist in any way we can.

“Your contributions of funds are truly vital for research to improve the quality of life and find a cure for those living with MND. Our purpose, together, is to champion hope and assist in the fight against MND.”

There was a donation bucket, monster raffle, blue cupcakes, sausage sizzle and drinks on sale.

An emotional Tim Richter who works with ‘Sunnyfield’ and is Mr McEvoy’s full-time carer spoke to the crowd and was present to help the students lift their buckets of iced water but more importantly to explain some of the symptoms of MND to the children.

All students had the opportunity to have their name drawn out of the bucket by paying 50 cents for a ticket.

Judging by the number of tickets in the bucket, there was plenty of piggy bank pocket money put towards this cause which also offered students the bonus opportunity of pouring a bucket of icy cold water over the head of their principal and teachers.

Mr McEvoy and Mr Darley drew eight names out of the bucket. Those lucky students were, Lucy Furner, Matilda Rowland, Molly Murphy, Ellie Rodstrom, Xanthia Watson, Brayden Dickens, Coen Gough, Will Horwood.

As the ice blocks and water tumbled over the teachers, there was a lot of laughter from the audience and ear-piercing screams from the teachers.    

Katie Godard and Rick McEvoy were all smiles. 

Fond memories and a few tall tales from past pupils made the day special for both students and Mr McEvoy.

“Thank you, Rick, Bern and Errol and Jenny, for being here today,” Mrs Goddard said. “I first met Rick in 2005 when he interviewed me for the K/1 position here at Sacred Heart. 

“With that position I then met the lovely Mrs Darley working part time in ‘Orange’ year 5/6. Everyone loved Mr Mac as a teacher and the wealth of knowledge he shared with his students.

“My favourite memories from working with Mr Mac, one; he loved his Solitaire and golf (and still loves the Golfie), two; he was a man of many talents and could walk on his hands, three; a famous line of his was “Go you good thing!”, four; he was always up for a good joke and I’m sure he still is.    

Principal Cath Baird described the day as “amazing” with “so much support”.

Robyn Traynor, administration officer at Boggabri Sacred Heart School said: “What an amazing day we had today at our Motor Neurone Awareness Day to support our beloved Mr Mac and Mr Darley.

“There was a sea of blue everywhere you looked. Today we raised a total of $2684 towards MND research, everyone should be so proud.”

Funds raised will go to FightMND charity which was formed in 2014 with the purpose of finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure for MND which gradually takes away the sufferer’s use of the arms, legs, ability to eat and swallow, their speech and ultimately to breathe.

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