Students Help Rebuild Ravaged School Across the Globe

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The Milford High School student government raised $1000 dollars to send with Mr. Brad Dennehy for earthquake relief in New Zealand. Mr. Dennehy is a native of Christchurch, but now resides in Milford. On February 22, Christchurch, New Zealand was hit with its 2nd major earthquake in 5 months, equating to New Zealand’s worst natural disaster in over 100 years.

About a month ago he came to a student council meeting and explained the troubles in the earthquake ravaged town. The high school Mr. Dennehy attended in New Zealand, the Shirley Boys School, was completely destroyed by an earthquake, as was a great deal of the town itself.

“It amazes me they want to help a school on the other side of the world. I think the great thing is I will be personally be able to give my old school a check from another school and that money will have a real purpose,” stated Brad.

The students were so moved by Mr. Dennehy’s story, they have organized a series of fundraisers to help rebuild the school. In the first month of fundraising, students have raised over $1000 dollars, which Mr. Dennehy is taking to help with the rebuilding effort.

“We just want to add some normalcy to the lives of the kids who have been displaced by the earthquake,” Dennehy explained. The school’s students have all been displaced and sent to other schools in the country.

Senior class president, Chase Young, summed up the efforts best, “We couldn’t imagine having to go to Lake Forest or Woodbridge our senior year. We hope this money can help them do something to maintain their school pride and sense of community.”

The students are participating in a community-wide effort to send Mr. Dennehy home where he can assist his family, friends, and neighbors. The eastern suburbs of Christchurch, where Brad grew up and his family still resides, are still without water, sewer, and electricity. All of the houses in the neighborhood have extensive damage, including both his parents’ home and sister’s home.

When asked to describe the extensive damage Brad shared a quote from his father living in Christchurc, “It is like a war zone down here.” Brad’s expertise in building and infrastructure, he could make a real difference, but first and foremost, he could lend moral support to family and friends during this tragic time.

The students will continue their efforts throughout the rest of the school year in the hopes of raising at least $5000 dollars by year’s end. Currently they are planning a pancake breakfast and carwash through Applebee’s in late April. The date is yet to be determined.