IT’S a journey they have made for many years – Mags Luffingham driving and Sue Fisher Jones wedged in the back seat with one or two panting dogs from PAD, because it’s always hot in June and their destination always the same: Swan’s School in Marbella.
This year, their travelling companion is bright eyed, tail thumping Maya, an abandoned seven-year-old cross golden labrador, eager for a car journey and the excitement of the unknown.
Equally excited it seems, are the pupils of Swan’s School on their arrival, always eager to see their ‘doggie’ companion(s) and so proud of what they have achieved in their ‘Annual Spelling Bee’.
The Spelling Bee was originally the concept of the President of PAD, Lisa Emeny, and has now become a yearly event. With pupils being sponsored to learn their spelling by family and friends, each form is keen to show their total, with the money being presented in ‘sweetie` bags by the pupil who has raised the highest amount.
Maya was particularly interested in the bags, [more tail thumping] and was slightly disappointed that they were not full of doggie treats, not realising that the money involved would buy sack loads of treats and so much more for herself and her friends.
The total raised this year was €3,457 but in the last 12 years more than €75,000 has been raised by the pupils to help the animals in the PAD shelter. A fantastic partnership has been formed with groups of children regularly visiting the shelter to understand how their money is being spent, to pat, stroke, feed biscuits and play with the dogs in the garden. Puppies are always the main attraction!
On behalf of PAD, heartfelt thanks go to Swan’s for their incredible concern and support, to the pupils for their excellent learning, to their sponsors for their continued generosity and to the staff for their wonderful organisation, in particular, Miss Janice, their liaison between shelter and school.