Farrer students band together to help classmate's family

FARRER FAMILY: Josh Liepins and Sam Hannan helped raise money for research into a disease which has affected Charlie Shadwell's (left) family. Photo: Gareth Gardner 281117GGC002
FARRER FAMILY: Josh Liepins and Sam Hannan helped raise money for research into a disease which has affected Charlie Shadwell's (left) family. Photo: Gareth Gardner 281117GGC002

WHEN one of their mates is doing it tough, Farrer boys roll-up their sleeves and chip-in.

What started as unused wood at a family farm was turned into a humble fundraiser and a heartwarming gesture as the Year 11 boys look to help out one of “the Farrer family”.

Members of Farrer Leos Club handed over a $900 cheque to Neuroscience Research Australia.

While it may be a relatively modest sum, it speaks volumes about the wealth of character shared and displayed by the schoolboys.

The Leos hope the money will go towards research into Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a neurological diagnosis which recently befell a student’s father.

The boys used what resources they could to raise the funds, turning to family, friends and, as you might expect in an agricultural high school, looking into what they could get from the land.

Piles of discarded wood on student Sam Hannan’s grandfather’s property became the key money-spinner for the MSA appeal.

The Farrer boys got together on their weekends to chop wood which was auctioned in a raffle.

Some of the wood was also whittled into sculptures which were also auctioned-off.

“It’s all just using the connections we know,” Farrer Leos president Josh Liepins said.

It was classmate Charlie Shadwell whose father was diagnosed with MSA and he described his mates’ helping hand as “huge”.

“It’s just incredible what your mates can do when times get tough,” he said.

Charlie has been a boarder at the school since 2013 and he was amazed how boys from across the state had come together and built a tight-knit community within the Tamworth school.

“We’re all from different areas,” he said.

“Sam is from Gunnedah and I’m from Dubbo … you can all get in and connect.

“From that you build the relationships that result in fundraiser like this.”

For Sam, it was impressive how a simple act could make such a positive impact within the school community.

“It was just wood sitting on Grandad’s place, now it has raised $900,” he said.

“It took us a day of work and that’s a day were not missing.”

The young Leos group continues to look for ways to give back to the community and is currently mustering toys to donate to Salvos for it Christmas appeal.

“Talking amongst the kids in the Leo club decided that we wanted to do something for the kids that can’t get toys for Christmas,” Josh said.

“We saw the Salvos were doing up packages.

“[We thought] how about we just do a toy drive and collect toys within the school and the community and donate them to the Salvos.

“We’ll do a raffle shortly and and that money will get donated into buying toys.”