TUMUT High School students descended on the town centre on Friday in a colourful array of creative costumes for their annual Muck Up Day.
The recent graduates were raising money for Can Assist, a Cancer charity that supports people and their families who have been affected by cancer in country NSW.
Armed with donation buckets and the massive smiles that accompany the last day of high school, the students collected over $3000 for the vital charity.
It didn’t take long for contributions to start pouring in.
“We’re doing pretty well. We’ve got about twenty bucks so far and we’ve only been going for five minutes,” said Tumut High graduate Angus Miles.
The sun was out for their fundraising efforts, although not everyone was enjoying the balmy spring temperatures.
“I’m keen, but it’s a bit hot!” said fellow former student Nick Branch from inside a banana suit.
The students were celebrating the end of their six year careers as high school students, and will have a few precious weeks of freedom before the HSC begins in November – although hopefully at least some of that time will be spent studying.
The students said they were happy high school was over, although the reality hadn’t quite sunk in yet.
“I’m relieved. Even though we’ve still exams coming up, we’re so close!” said Maddie Rusconi, who is planning on studying nursing after she gets her exam results.
“It doesn’t even feel real yet, it hasn’t hit. It probably will after the holidays!” said Maddie Freebody.
President of the Tumut branch of Can Assist Jan Sturt said that the students’ efforts to fundraise are hugely appreciated.
“It’s wonderful. They’ve done it for us once before, and it’s wonderful. They usually raise a fair bit,” she said.
“Tumut High kids also, in woodwork, built us a kennel this year to use in our raffle. The thought is there. The more young people we can get interested, the better. [Cancer] affects everybody, it’s not just old people.
“Fundraising is very important for us. All the money that they raise stays within the old Tumut shire, and it’s helping people get to appointments, which otherwise they couldn’t afford. It doesn’t go to Sydney, it doesn’t go anywhere else, it stays in the shire.”
Can Assist provides travel and accommodation expenses for those affected by cancer. They say it can easily cost a country family affected by cancer up to five times more than a city family just to access treatment.