Boys' charity 20-hour run nets $5000

Emjai Welsh (5), of Oamaru,   peeks over the shoulder of Waitaki Boys' High School  pupil Matthew...
Emjai Welsh (5), of Oamaru, peeks over the shoulder of Waitaki Boys' High School pupil Matthew Willetts (17) at the WBHS 20-hour run yesterday morning. Photo by Ben Guild.
More than 100 Waitaki Boys' High School (WBHS) pupils ran more than 1000km in 20 hours during the weekend to raise funds for an Oamaru girl needing an operation.

The money raised from the approximate 1400 laps around the school grounds, believed to be more than $5000, will go towards a second $50,000 cochlear ear implant for profoundly deaf Emjai Welsh (5).

Emjai's mother, Nicola Rapson, was thrilled with the turnout and appeared humbled yesterday morning when she heard how much money had been raised.

"It's astounding - we were told there were around 100 runners yesterday and we couldn't believe it," Ms Rapson said.

Combined with money raised at the Oamerican Car Show, "scratchies" sales, sausage sizzles and other endeavours, it takes the total money raised in six weeks to about $12,000.

The 20-hour run is an annual WBHS event which raises money for causes chosen by the pupils. It began at 1pm on Sunday and finished in time for a morning assembly yesterday shortly after 9am.

The idea for this year's cause came from Emjai's friend, WBHS pupil Matthew Willetts (17).

WBHS teacher Nic Hill said each boy had to raise at least $30 to participate.

Pupil Bailey Templeton raised more than $500 Further fundraising events will include a golf tournament at the North Otago Golf Club on April 15, a monster garage sale at the Oamaru North School hall on April 22 and a performance by the Central Coast Music Club at the Union Parish Hall the following weekend.



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